Former Sheffield United and Oldham Athletic star Jose Baxter has incredibly been offered a 12-month contract with Premier League club Everton, as confirmed by Sky Sports.
The 24-year-old, once tipped to be a future England star, was twice suspended by Sheffield United for testing positive for ecstasy in 2015 and cocaine in 2016 before being released by the club in May last year.
Baxter made his professional début for Everton in the 2008/09 Premier League season aged just 16, becoming the Toffee’s youngest ever player. The midfield never broke into the first-team at Goodison Park and was released after rejecting a new contract in 2012.
The former England U17 international signed for Oldham Athletic and quickly became a key player for the Latics. Baxter scored 15 goals in his single season for the League One club and was reunited with former Everton youth team manager David Weird as he made a reported £500,000 move to Sheffield United.
Just as he did at Oldham, Baxter showed great signs of talent and was a vital member of the team that reached the FA Cup semi-final. However, inconsistency and attitude was always a problem and ultimately cost Baxter a his career at the Blades.
Despite still serving a year-long ban from football, Everton have offered Baxter a 12-month contract which will be activated after his ban.
“I’m speechless. Not many people get a second chance and here’s me with a third chance.” Baxter said.
Everton U23 boss David Unsworth commented, “It can be anything he wants it to be. As soon as he comes through the gates of Finch Farm in July, he will be treated like an U23 player and we work very hard.
“We want to help because that is the sort of club we are. He is one of our own, but I have said to Jose, in no uncertain terms, that this is your last chance.”