Everton have completed the loan signing of Anwar El Ghazi from Aston Villa on the same day that Lucas Digne headed in the opposite direction.
El Ghazi recently emerged as a target for Everton in negotiations separate to those that have seen Digne move from Goodison Park to Villa. Rafael Benitez wanted another winger in his squad and now he has got his man.
The Toffees have taken El Ghazi on loan until the end of the season. There is no mention of an option to buy.
El Ghazi will wear the number 34 shirt for Everton, who have also signed Vitaliy Mykolenko and Nathan Patterson already this month.
The Dutch winger could make his Everton debut as early as this weekend, when his new side visit Norwich City.
With 119 Villa appearances under his belt, the 26-year-old has plenty of experience in English football. Everton will hope he can express himself more than Villa have let him so far this season.
El Ghazi, who only started four league games for Villa up to this point of the season, sees this as a new challenge to prove himself again.
He told evertontv: “I’m really excited. Everton is a big club, I cannot wait to get started.
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“I want to show my quality to my teammates, to the club and, of course, the fans. I want to put a smile on their faces.
“I’m ready and willing to work hard for it and for all of us to work together.
“I just want to focus on working hard, getting into the team, fighting for my place and, with the boys, to get Everton where it belongs – that is much higher up the table. We have a really good squad.”
El Ghazi outlines what he will bring
The twice-capped Netherlands international scored against Everton in May last year. Now, he will be hoping to find the net at Goodison Park again, this time in blue colours.
But goalscoring is not the only attribute he expects to add at Everton.
He said: “I can always score a goal in an important moment. I can add a lot of value with my pace and technique going forward. I can hold the ball and I am decent in one-on-ones. I am ready and can’t wait.
“We have a really strong squad. The wingers are doing well and have a lot of quality. It will be hard work but competition with others is good and that is how you achieve great things.
“I will work hard and give everything I have. That is the least you can expect from a player. That is what I will start with and from there hopefully I will be able to score goals and give assists.”
Everton become the fourth club of El Ghazi’s career after previous spells with Ajax, Lille and Everton.