Everton have completed the signing of Theo Walcott from Arsenal on a three-and-a-half year contract.
The Gunners forward has joined the Toffees in a reported deal worth in excess of £20m, and the Merseysiders announced the news via their official Twitter account on Wednesday. Walcott, who spent over a decade at the Emirates with Arsenal, becomes Sam Allardyce’s second signing, and will wear the number 11 shirt.
Speaking about his transfer, the 28-year-old told the club’s media team that he was delighted to be heading north and ply his side on the hallowed Goodison Park turf.
He said: “I’ve come to Everton because I want the club to push to the next level. And with the players that have come in, I feel like the next level can be reached.
“I’m very excited to be starting a new chapter and I felt this was the right place for me to be. The manager is very ambitious and I feel like the club is going in the right direction. Everton is a club with a great history. The fans are always passionate, they’re great and I always used to find it very tough playing here.
“The club has won trophies but I want them to win trophies now. The manager is very hungry and it’s just what I need. I’ve had a couple of chats with him and straightaway I felt that hunger and that desire that he wanted from me. I need that and I wanted that.
“I want to be part of something which he’s building and, like I said before, it’s a very ambitious club.“
The fact there’s a new stadium going to be developing in the next few years, it’s exciting times for Everton Football Club. I’m dead excited and I just want to do what I do best which is playing football and expressing myself because I’m excited again, I really am.
“I do really believe that I’m going to give it my all, which is what I always have done, and this place is going to get even more out of me. There’s something about this move which I’ve just felt good about.”
Walcott has followed £27m arrival Cenk Tosun in moving to L4 in the January transfer window, and admitted that his time with Arsenal had come to a natural end, and it was time for a new challenge.
He added: “It felt like it was time for me to move on [from Arsenal]. It was sad but it’s exciting at the same time and I want to reignite my career and push Everton to win things as they have done before. I want to be part of something and I feel like this place will offer me that.”
Walcott joined Arsenal from Southampton for £10m in January 2006, bagged himself 108 goals in 399 appearances for the north Londoners and lifted five trophies during his spell in the capital.
The Saints and Bournemouth had registered late interest in trying to persuade Walcott to stay in the south of England, but he has opted to move to Liverpool and link up with Allardyce instead.
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The England international had been eyeing more regular game time so he can be considered for Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions squad for this summer’s World Cup in Russia. And, after travelling to USM Finch Farm on Tuesday to discuss personal terms and undergo a medical, has now opted to join Everton over other interested parties.