Aaron Lennon admits Everton has become ‘home’ for him as he prepares to open the Premier League season against former employers Tottenham Hotspur this weekend.
The winger joined the Blues from Spurs initially on loan in January 2015, before making the move permanent ahead of the 2015/16 campaign.
Lennon, a product of the Leeds United youth academy, has roots in Yorkshire and admits he is pleased to once again be settled up north.
“I would definitely say this is feeling like home now,” he told evertontv. “The lads, the staff and everyone at the Club have always been great with me, and of course the fans as well. They made it really easy to settle back up here.
“I was really happy coming back up north. My family were buzzing to have me back here as well.
“When we saw that it was Spurs up first, I was having a laugh about it with my dad. Obviously I was there for so long so it was an interesting one to come up first.”
Saturday’s game marks the first competitive game under new boss Ronald Koeman.
Having worked with the Dutchman for six weeks now, Lennon believes the players are getting to grips with how the former Southampton manager wants his side to play.
“The mood is really good,” added Lennon. “We have come through a tough pre-season with the new boss. Once you get the first few friendlies out the way, you are itching for the start of the season.
“We are getting used to Ronald Koeman’s methods. Everyone knows how good a player he was and now he is our manager. The training has been first class and the lads have really enjoyed it, even though it has been tough. When a new manager comes in, you want to try to learn as much as you can from him as quickly as he can.
“The lads have bought into his tactics and now we are itching to show what we can do on the pitch.
“We have had a few triple sessions but it has all been positive and the lads are feeling good from it. The main thing, of course, is getting ready for the season so if that means doubles or triples then we don’t mind.
“The bulk of the hard work is done – we are in the middle of a tough final week still – but it’s good to have most of pre-season out the way. We all can’t wait for the season to start on Saturday.”