Sandro Ramirez declared he has joined the “ideal club and ideal manager” after signing for Everton from Malaga on a four-year deal, as he targeted trophies and Champions League football with the ambitious Blues.
The 21-year-old forward has penned a contract at Goodison Park until the end of June 2021 after Everton triggered a release clause in the Spaniard’s contract with the La Liga club.
Sandro’s signing follows those of goalkeeper Jordan Pickford – in a Club-record deal for a fee of £25million potentially rising to £30million – Dutch international midfield player Davy Klaassen from Ajax for €27million and Henry Onyekuru, the Belgian Pro League’s joint-top goalscorer last season who will spend the 2017/18 season on loan at Anderlecht.
Former Barcelona striker Sandro, who was part of the Spain side that reached the final of the UEFA Euro Under-21 championships last month in Poland, revealed he “cannot wait to wear the blue shirt” for a “massive club”, as he pointed to the influence of boss Ronald Koeman in making the switch to Merseyside.
“I’m very happy, this is a big step in my career,” Sandro told evertontv. “I know I’m signing for a massive club in England. Everton is the ideal place for me, I’ve got the ideal manager who is going to keep giving me the confidence to improve my game.
“I cannot wait to wear the blue shirt in front of the Everton fans at Goodison Park. It’s a big jump in my career coming to the Premier League and for a club like Everton which is really on the up. They have got big plans and want to succeed and keep developing. I’m hoping I can get to know my teammates as soon as possible, and want to adapt to the football and the way of life in the city.
“Everton have made some big signings and we’re hoping we can put in a great season and hopefully then we can achieve that aim of getting in the Champions League. It will be a big season for us.
“I was lucky enough to play with some of the best players in the world and managed to win the odd trophy but the important thing now is that I’m very happy to be signing for Everton. We’ve got a fantastic squad and I’m excited about being able to compete at Everton and win plenty of silverware.”
Having come through Barcelona’s academy from the age of 14, going on to make 32 first-team appearances for the Catalan giants, Sandro joined Malaga last summer and enjoyed a fine campaign, scoring 16 goals in 31 appearances as ‘Albicelestes’ finished 11th in La Liga.
That caught the attention of Koeman and Director of Football Steve Walsh who, along with Everton Chairman Bill Kenwright, the forward said were key in him signing for the Blues.
“The biggest attraction is the confidence already shown in me by people at the Club,” he added. “I’m really excited at having the chance to work with the manager, Ronald Koeman. He has shown a lot of faith in me and was very influential in my decision to come here, as were other people at the Club – especially the Chairman, Bill Kenwright, and Steve Walsh.”
Koeman, who believes Sandro will add significantly to the productivity of the team, declared: “There was a lot of interest in Sandro because, of course, he’s a goalscorer, he’s young and he has a big future in the game.
“We have been trying to bring in good players so we can have greater productivity in the team and he will bring that. He will bring a lot of good qualities and he’s a really good goalscorer, too.”
Born on the island of Gran Canaria, Sandro made his Barcelona debut against Villarreal in August 2014 at the age of 19, scoring the winner just 12 minutes after coming on as a substitute. He went on to play 12 times for Barcelona in 2014/15 and in 20 matches during the following campaign, collecting La Liga winners’ medals in both seasons.
“I’m bringing a lot of youthful enthusiasm and a real desire to improve and work hard,” Sandro said. “One of the things I’ve always had is a good work ethic and a real desire and strength of character to do well.
“My key strength is goalscoring. It’s always good to bring goals to a team and that’s what I’m hoping to do. My game is making runs off the ball, trying to find space, putting in a lot of effort and running hard. I think that’s an advantage in the Premier League.”
>>> Click here to purchase a 2017/18 home shirt with Sandro printing