It’s done, and done quickly too mind you after what happened in January. It’s something Arnaut Danjuma is going to have to get used to hearing after completing his loan switch to Everton early today.
The Dutch international had already come and gone from Finch Farm, having done all the media work that comes behind the scenes of making a signing when he returned to London over the weekend during the winter transfer window. While the Toffees were still waiting for some paperwork to come through, Tottenham Hotspur jumped in and offered the player a better situation to come to and he bit, hard.
Unfortunately for Danjuma the loan didn’t quite work out as Spurs struggled with their own managerial issues, but given the opportunity to make amends for that misstep, the 26-year-old has now officially confirmed the move to the Blues during this summer window.
Speaking to the Everton website, the Nigerian-born forward spoke about his reasons for choosing Merseyside.
“It’s amazing to join Everton and I’m really happy to be here. It’s been a long time coming to join such a massive club as Everton and it makes me proud.
“I had interest from other clubs but there was a pull towards Everton because of the fans, the manager and the history of the Club and it’s second time lucky for me.
“I know I did not move to the Club in January, that was because there was some uncertainty over the manager situation at that time, but I think it makes it even more beautiful for me to join now. I am very grateful to be at the Club and I can’t wait to play in front of the fans as well.
On what manager Sean Dyche said to him, Danjuma clearly appears to have bought into the plan for the upcoming season.
“For me a relationship between the player and the manager is very important. I had a very good chat with Sean Dyche, he explained the way he wants to play, the way he sees me perform in the team, what he expects from me. All those givens are very important for a player to be able to perform.
“I was very pleased with the answers that he gave me, and he was very keen to work with me which was very important for me.”
The Blues had struggled in front of goal last season after the departures of Richarlison and Anthony Gordon, and that paucity was only magnified by Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s streaky fitness, the utter incompetence of Neal Maupay, and the naivete of youngsters Ellis Simms and Tom Cannon. Danjuma though will look to correct that.
“I hope to bring a lot of goals and a lot of assists. The manager has clearly improved the team and there is a process ahead with him in charge that I am very excited to be a part of.
“I am very eager to perform and very determined to contribute to the entire club. There’s no vein in my body that doubts my quality, and I’m very determined to now show that for the Evertonians.”
The 26-year-old’s versatility across the front line is certainly a key factor for the Blues persistence in trying to obtain him.
“I don’t mind playing in different positions, in modern day football it’s very important to be able to play in different positions. As long as the ball goes between the posts and touches the net I’m happy!”
Danjuma was in the Spurs squad for the game at Goodison Park in April, and watched as the ten-man Blues were roared on by the home support with Michael Keane’s late, late howitzer snatching a much-needed point.
“It is difficult to explain in words how much they impressed me. I have heard a lot about the stadium and the fans but you can only ever experience it.
“Specifically for that [Keane] goal, I was warming up down the touchline and it literally felt like 40,000 people were screaming in my ear. It makes you more keen to play for a club with a fanbase that is so involved and so excited to cheer on their players.
“It’s why I am proud and very eager to get started; to finally feel that on my side as well.
“I’m very eager to be a part of it, and to make sure I can contribute to winning games, as well as contributing to the way we play.”
Who else had he spoken to apart from Dyche and Director of Football Kevin Thelwell before making the decision to join the Toffees?
“I spoke to a couple of players obviously, Gana [Idrissa Gueye] as well. Gana was very convincing, to say the least!
“But nothing but good words, which makes it even better to be part of it.”