Everton have completed the signing of Theo Walcott from Arsenal, for a fee stated to be in excess of £20 million.
Walcott has joined the Blues on a three-and-a-half year deal that will keep him at the club until the summer of 2021.
Blues boss Sam Allardyce has reportedly been interested in signing Walcott since taking over his current post back at the beginning of December and that interest is said to have played a big factor in the forward’s move to Goodison Park.
He is eager to get to work with the 28-year-old that he was only able to manage once during his brief spell with England.
Speaking to EvertonFC.com, the 63-year-old boss admitted: “I am thrilled. There was a bit of a chase between a couple of clubs but I think after we set out the ambitions of the club and my ambitions for him he was motivated to come here and refreshed in his mind by the new challenge he can put upon himself."
Walcott looking forward
The England international has been at Arsenal since joining as a 16-year-old in 2006 from Southampton. He departs the Gunners after a 12-year relationship, where he scored 108 goals in close to 400 appearances.
His move to Everton will be full of challenges but the winger is looking forward to getting to work with his new teammates and manager.
Speaking to EvertonFC.com, Walcott said: “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."
He added: “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 28-year-old is also looking forward to making his debut for the Toffees, which could come this Saturday as the Blues host West Bromwich Albion.
“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," Walcott said.
“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."
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World Cup incentive?
Joining the Blues gives Walcott the chance for playing time as he looks to make his way into the England squad for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
The Blues have a number of players that will be considered for Russia which means England boss Gareth Southgate is likely to be a regular at Goodison Park over the next few weeks.
Walcott has already been a part of two World Cup squads - despite missing the 2010 trip to South Africa - and should have the best chance to make his third squad if he performs to the levels for Allardyce's side as the former England boss will expect.