According to his former club Atletico Madrid, Joel Robles has joined Everton today after the 3 parties reached an agreement. The transfer fee hasn't been disclosed, but several rumors have put the fee in the range of 2 million pounds with the possibility of a buy-back clause. The keeper joins Everton from Atletico Madrid on a multi-year deal. The 23-year old Spaniard is expected to deputize USA international Tim Howard.
Robles has spent his entire career at Atletico Madrid, working his way up from the C team before then going to the B team and finally making the senior side where he was used occasionally during the 2011-2012 season.
As with other signings this year, Robles spent time at Wigan with Roberto Martinez this past spring. After arriving at Wigan Robles eventually beat out first-choice Ali Al-Habsi in March and kept the job for the rest of the season.
Robles ended up playing in 8 league matches for Wigan, and fans may remember him from his spectacular performance in the FA Cup final against Manchester City. In the match Robles made several fantastic saves to keep Wigan in it until they secured a late winner.
The Spaniard has also represented Spain at all of the youth levels, and with the current crop of Spanish goalies getting older it wouldn't be a surprise to see him move up to the senior side as a backup.
While fans are already moaning about the move, this could end up being a very shrewd move by Martinez. If Howard had any thoughts about complacency, the fact that Martinez had no issue with replacing Al-Habsi with Robles should erase those thoughts.
This deal also sets Everton up nicely for the future. Howard is unlikely to stay at Everton beyond his current contract if he wants to remain a starter, and this will give Robles a few years to learn and get some experience in the Premier League. Should Howard contain to play at a high level and deserve a new contract, Robles could also be sold for a tidy fee which wouldn't be a bad thing.