Everton Sign Aiden McGeady from Spartak Moscow on Permanent Deal

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistJanuary 11, 2014

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 11: New Everton signing Aiden McGeady applauds the fans prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Norwich City at Goodison Park on January 11, 2014 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images)
Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

Aiden McGeady has ended his three-and-a-half-year stay in the Russian Premier League after Everton unveiled the Republic of Ireland international as their first signing of the January transfer window on Saturday.

The 27-year-old walked out to Goodison Park applause prior to the Toffees' fixture against Norwich City, with the club's official Twitter account giving more details:

The deal will see McGeady stay at Merseyside until the summer of 2018 and marks the return of a player once heralded as one of Celtic's brightest talents upon his 2010 departure to Spartak Moscow.

Since then, the winger has held his place in the Spartak squad and maintained a good standard of player in some of Europe's more frigid climates, linked with a return to British shores on several occasions in the past.

Russian expert Artur Petrosyan shows just how successful the star has been during his time on Europe's mainland:

It's a morale-boosting announcement for Roberto Martinez's side, who have gotten off to a very fruitful start under the Spaniard and will be hoping for nothing less than improvements in the months to come.

McGeady's arrival offers the club a chance to do just that with the likes of Kevin Mirallas, Steven Pienaar, Steven Naismith and Gerard Deulofeu now under increased pressure for a place in the team.

With his contract at Spartak coming to an end this summer, it's not a great surprise to see McGeady shifted on this winter, although a fee for his signature is yet to be disclosed.

MARSEILLE, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 15:  Aiden McGeady of Spartak after his sides 1-0 victory during the UEFA Champions League Group F match between Olympique Marseille and Spartak Moscow at the Stade Velodrome on September 15, 2010 in Marseille, France.  (Phot
Michael Steele/Getty Images

The speedster joins a thriving community of Irish players at the club, with Seamus Coleman, Darron Gibson and, to a lesser extent, Shane Duffy, already making their mark within the squad.

As the BBC's Conor McNamara reports, the Irish contingent makes for a promising niche within the club:

According to Transfermarkt.co.uk, McGeady made seven assists and scored a single goal in his last 13 league outings for Spartak Moscow, the highlight of which was having a direct in all three goals scored during a 3-2 win over Krasnodar in September.

The Toffees will be hoping to maintain that sort of influence from out wide and even improve upon certain aspects of his play with the wide man now a lot closer to home.