Everton have completed the signing of goalkeeper Jordan Pickford from Sunderland for a club record £30million fee.
The 23-year-old, who is currently with the England Under-21s preparing for the European Championships in Poland, has agreed a five-year deal.
Pickford told evertonfc.com: “It’s great to sign for the club.
“Last season was my first in the Premier League so to get this opportunity with Everton now, to be able to go forward with my career and show everyone what I can do is unbelievable.”
Pickford has joined the Toffees for an initial £25million which could rise to £30million with add-ons, which would eclipse the £28million deal the Merseysiders struck with Chelsea for striker Romelu Lukaku in 2014.
Having suffered relegation with Sunderland, Pickford is glad to be back in the top-flight so soon.
He said: “It’s a great club, a massive club and I think it’s a great opportunity and the right time for me to come to Everton and show what I can do.
“This is an exciting time for the club and for me, too, with the ambition being shown. I just want to be the best I can be to help.”
Signing a goalkeeper always looked like being a top priority for Toffees boss Ronald Koeman this summer.
Fellow Dutchman Maarten Stekelenburg arrived last year, but neither he nor Joel Robles could nail down a regular spot between the posts as they made 19 Premier League starts each.
Everton were linked with Manchester City’s out-of-favour stopper Joe Hart when he was originally deemed surplus to requirements, and they seemed like one of his more obvious suitors again in this window.
However, Koeman has instead moved for the man who may be England’s number one further down the line.
Pickford was nominated for the PFA Young Player of the Year award despite featuring for a team that finished bottom of the top-flight table.
He earned a call-up to England’s senior ranks in October and has represented the country at each of the six youth levels from Under-16 upwards.
Born in nearby Washington, Pickford came through Sunderland’s academy system and had a series of loan deals with the likes of Preston, Bradford, and Carlisle prior to becoming his boyhood club’s number one last term.
The fee is short of the £35million Manchester City parted with earlier this summer to land Brazilian stopper Ederson – but still makes Pickford the most expensive British goalkeeper ever.
That honour currently belongs to Southampton’s Fraser Forster, who Saints paid £10million for when Koeman was in charge on the south coast in 2014.