Everton complete signing of Cuco Martina

Everton have completed the signing of Cuco Martina on a free transfer following the defender's release from Southampton this summer.

Martina, 27, had been photographed at Liverpool John Lennon Airport joining Everton's travelling party to Holland for the second part of their pre-season training prior to the club's official announcement of the deal.

The full-back will provide much-needed depth to an Everton squad looking to battle on a number of fronts next season. With only Mason Holgate - a natural centre-back - and Jonjoe Kenny, 20, as the squads only players who could play at full-back.

With Everton looking to potential loan Kenny out and move Holgate to his much more natural central defensive role, Martina makes perfect sense as the Toffee’s newest summer signing.

The Blues have been targeting defensive cover at right-back since the horrific injury suffered by Seamus Coleman in March.

A move for the Curacao captain has been on the cards for a number of weeks but had to be put off due to his involvement in the Gold Cup in the United States. Cuco had been granted permission to leave the tournament towards the end of last week and underwent his medical with Everton over the weekend.

Martina moves for the ambition

With Coleman injured, Martina will have the chance to cement his role as Everton’s first choice right back for the first few months of the new Premier League season.

As Everton begin planning for bigger and better things during next season, the full back spoke of his delight to join a club with big ambitions.

Martina told EvertonFC.com: “You can see this is a club that wants to achieve something and the players we are bringing certainly show this,”

“Everton is a big club with big ambitions and I'm really looking forward to joining this group of players and the manager as we try to step forward next season.”

The 27-year-old was also swayed by the chance to work once again with Ronald Koeman, his former boss at Southampton.

Cuco added: “I know the manager from my time at Southampton, so I know what he wants and he knows what I can do.”

Koeman comments on the deal

Martina had been a target for Koeman for some time and despite being the cheapest transfer he’s made so far this summer, his deal took the longest to complete.

With Everton hoping to add more fixtures to their schedule next season, in terms of the Europa League and domestic cup competitions, the Dutchman is welcoming Martina’s versatility across the defensive back line.

Koeman told EvertonFC.com: “It's also important, with the number of games we will face in the coming campaign, that we have strength and competition in the squad,”

“He (Martina) is a player who will strengthen our squad and be able to play in different positions when that's needed, too.”