Everton have completed the signing of Barcelona midfielder Andre Gomes on a five-year contract in a deal worth £22 million.
The Toffees announced the transfer on Tuesday via their official website, and Gomes told Everton TV of his joy to return to Goodison Park on permanent terms after a successful loan last season:
“I'm really happy to sign the contract with Everton—it wasn't hard to decide, it was an easy decision and I'm very happy to have made it.
“I know the club made a massive effort to sign me and I'm very happy and thankful to them. I said during the year that I felt part of a family and that is the most important thing to me.
“Last year was a really good experience for me. I just wanted to feel part of something special and I found it here. It was good for me in that moment and right now, after signing for Everton, it's even better."
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The 25-year-old scored once and recorded two assists in 29 appearances for Everton last term, helping Marco Silva's side finish eighth in the Premier League and narrowly miss out on European qualification.
Gomes—capped 29 times for Portugal—has left the Camp Nou after making a total of 78 appearances for Barcelona, winning one La Liga title, two Copa del Rey crowns and one Spanish Super Cup.
Sportswriter Andy West highlighted the playmaker's lack of charisma as being one of the biggest reasons behind his failure to sparkle in Catalonia:
Andy West @andywest01
Shame Andre Gomes never made it with Barça. Has all the talent in the world and a likeable guy but not a big enough personality to succeed at Camp Nou. Struggled to find balance between expressing himself/servicing others (esp Messi). Hopefully he will grow mentally at Everton. https://t.co/xSMS62StKg
Barcelona paid Valencia a reported €35 million to sign Gomes in July 2016, with another potential €35 million in add-ons agreed as part of the deal.
That fee was a sign of his promise after winning the 2016 UEFA European Championship, and Everton will hope their signing can still prove he's worth that kind of money in the right setting.
Sports Witness suggested the transfer could prove a steal for the Merseysiders:
Everton begin their pre-season tour against Kariobangi Sharks in Nairobi on July 7, when Gomes could have the opportunity to take the first steps in this next chapter of his Everton career.