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'A move I didn't want to pass by' - Everton's new signing explains Aston Villa exit

Everton confirm £9m summer signing of Aston Villa starlet
© Reuters
Everton complete the signing of a 20-year-old midfield starlet from fellow Premier League club Aston Villa for a reported £9m.

Everton have completed the signing of midfield starlet Tim Iroegbunam from fellow Premier League club Aston Villa.

The 20-year-old joins the Toffees for an undisclosed fee, believed to be £9m, and has put pen to paper on a three-year deal until the end of June 2027.

Iroegbunam becomes Sean Dyche's first signing of the summer transfer window and will link up with his new teammates when they report back to Finch Farm for the start of pre-season next month.

Everton have moved quickly to secure the services of Iroegbunam who spent three years at Aston Villa, including a loan spell at Championship side Queens Park Rangers in the 2022-23 season.

Iroegbunam, an England Under-20 international, was integrated into Unai Emery's first-team squad last season and made 15 appearances in all competitions, including one start and eight substitute outings in the Premier League.

Iroegbunam "excited" by "big things coming" at Everton

Speaking to evertontv after sealing his move to Goodison Park, Iroegbunam said: "I'm very pleased. Everton is an amazing club, a big club and I'm just really happy to join and I can't wait to get started. It was a move that I didn't want to pass by. I wanted to take the opportunity.

"When I spoke to Kevin [Thelwell], he told me more about the club - its history, the future and where they see me playing. It made me feel very excited because there are big things coming, especially with the new stadium.

"When I've been to Goodison as an opposition player, I've seen how the Everton fans are. You can tell straight away what the atmosphere is like - they are always backing the team. I'm going to work hard for them.

"I just can't wait to get started. I'm going to give everything and I can't wait to show what I can bring to this club."

Dyche added: "We're pleased to add Tim to our midfield options. He is a young player who is still learning and developing but clearly has a lot of the qualities we want in that area of the pitch.

"My coaching staff and I are looking forward to starting to work with him in pre-season."

Everton keen for Iroegbunam to 'fulfil obvious potential'

Director of Football Kevin Thelwell continued: "We are delighted to have been able to move quickly to bring Tim to Everton. He is a player we have been following closely and we believe he has the skills and characteristics to be a strong addition to our midfield.

"At 20 years old, he is a young and hungry player who has already gained some impressive experience and we look forward to helping him to continue to develop and fulfil his obvious potential."

Discussing his style of play, Iroegbunam said: "I'd say I'm a player who does a bit of both - I like to get forward, carry the ball up the pitch but, at the same time, I like to get stuck in, win tackles and work hard."

He added: "It was very important for me to get the move sorted quickly. It means I can get settled in and come in from day one and take my chance to impress from the start of pre-season.

"I know the manager likes his teams to be on the front foot, be direct and work hard. For that you need to be fit and being here for the full pre-season is going to help me get up to those fitness levels to do all of those things. I'm ready for it."

Iroegbunam will hope to make a quick impression under Dyche during pre-season in the hope of making his Everton debut in their opening Premier League game of the 2024-25 season at home to Brighton & Hove Albion.

Meanwhile, Everton are reportedly in talks with Newcastle over the signing of 19-year-old attacker Yankuba Minteh, as well as a separate deal involving striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin going in the opposite direction.

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