LONDON: Everton completed the signing of Turkish striker Cenk Tosun from Besiktas on Friday, which may go some way to ease fans’ concerns hours after the Merseyside club sold midfielder Ross Barkley to Premier League rivals Chelsea.
The 26-year-old Tosun, who has long been linked with a move to Everton, arrives on a 4-1/2 year contract and pledged to bring goals to a side who have struggled to score this season.
“It feels great to be an Everton player. I’m really happy to be here and happy that everything is done. I’m really excited to play for Everton as soon as possible,” Tosun told the club’s official TV platform.
“Everton is a great club with a big history and a big culture and I’m looking forward to showing the fans the kind of player I am.”
Tosun had scored 14 goals in 24 appearances for Besiktas this campaign and will be a welcome boost for Everton, who have struggled to find the net since last season’s top scorer Romelu Lukaku moved to Manchester United in July.
No financial details were released but British media reported that the Premier League club will pay around 27 million pounds ($36.57 million) for the Turkey international.
“I’m really excited to work with my new team mates because Everton has really, really big names, big players. I’m excited to play with them and to learn from them as well, players like Wayne Rooney and the very good creative players we have here, too. They can help me score goals,” added Tosun.
Everton are ninth in the league after recovering from a poor start to the season but have struggled in attack, scoring just 25 goals in 22 league games.
Manager Sam Allardyce was therefore keen to significantly strengthen his frontline, and appears to have got the player he was targeting in this transfer window.
“We looked at the qualities of the player, his talent and goalscoring, and his resilience too. I do not think you can look any more than we have done and, for the price, he is the best in Europe at the moment,” the Englishman said.
Tosun scored 20 goals last season to help Besiktas retain their Turkish Super League crown. He also scored a memorable strike in the Champions League with an impressive bicycle-kick finish against Benfica.
His first match for Everton may come at Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League on Jan. 13.
“I want to play as soon as possible. The Tottenham game will be the first game I am available for and I’m very excited about it already,” he said. --Reuters