Everton: Fraser Hornby's switch to striker pays off with first professional deal

Everton striker Fraser Hornby
Fraser Hornby was sold to Everton from Northampton as a 14-year-old

Scotland Under-21's Fraser Hornby is delighted his switch from midfield to striker has paid off with his first professional contract at Everton.

The 18-year-old, who joined the Toffees from Northampton Town for a reported fee of £65,500 in 2014, has agreed a deal until June 2021.

"I'm happy playing as a striker now and I'm looking forward to improving," Hornby told Everton TV.

"I've only played there for a season, so there's a lot more work to do."

Having been promoted from the under-18s to Everton's under-23s, Hornby made his first and only first-team appearance in a 3-0 Europa League victory away to Apollon Limassol in December.

And he also impressed as Scotland Under-21s reached the semi-finals at the end-of-season Toulon Tournament.

Billy Gilmour is congratulated by Fraser Hornby after scoring Scotland's opening goal against South Korea Under-21s
Fraser Hornby (right) made his debut for Scotland Under-21s in the Toulon Tournament

"It's been a memorable 12 months, considering at the start of last season I was coming back from a long-term injury," he said.

"My main focus was just getting back playing again, scoring goals, and I had a few chances with the under-23s.

"Making my first-team debut was just an amazing experience. The whole occasion, travelling with the team, it being an away game, seeing all the fans - hopefully I can get more experiences like that in the future."

Hornby had joined the English Premier League club's academy as a midfielder but was moved up front by the club's under-18s coaches.

"Even when I was playing in midfield, I'd like to get forward and get in the box, so when Paul Tait and Kevin Sheedy moved me to striker at under-18s, I could just see myself playing there for many years," he said.

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