Toni Duggan has returned to Everton, signing a two-year deal until the end of June 2023.
Eight years after leaving the Blues for Manchester City, the 29-year-old re-joins the Club following the expiry of her contract with Atletico Madrid.
One of the biggest names in women’s football, the England international spoke of her delight to come back to the club where she started her career and outlined her determination to steer Willie Kirk’s ambitious side to the Champions League and silverware.
“It feels so good to be back home,” Duggan told evertontv. “This is the club I started out at when I was younger.
“To be back here now, it’s an amazing feeling. As soon as I knew I could return to Everton, I was coming back.”
Duggan, who will wear the famous Everton number nine shirt next season, experienced nights in Europe during her first spell with the Toffees and has set her sights on qualifying for the European tournament again this time round.
“It’s so important for the Club, the team, the manager. It’s everyone’s objective,” she added.
“When I met with Everton, they stated they wanted Champions League football.
“For me personally, I’ve played Champions League football right throughout my career.
“I’ve always been part of it and it’s the pinnacle of a player’s career.
“I want that. I’m ambitious about it.
“It would be a dream come true if I can get Everton back in the Champions League.
“That’s where this club belongs and I know we can achieve it.
“I’m here now, I’m back in blue and hopefully I can give back to the Club what they gave me.”
Sarvar Ismailov, Everton Women Sporting and Commercial Director said: “We are delighted to welcome Toni back to Everton. She brings a lot of qualities but the most important is the winning mentality she will bring to the dressing room.
"I am positive she will hit the ground running and improve our attacking options. It’s an honour to welcome Toni back home."
Duggan enjoyed a successful first spell with Everton, having broken into the first team during the 2007/08 season.
That term, Duggan scored in extra-time in the FA Women’s Premier League Cup semi-final against Watford and went on to win the final against Arsenal.
Two seasons later in 2010, Duggan was victorious with Everton in her first FA Women’s Cup final in a 3-2 win over the Gunners.
Since leaving Everton, Duggan has gone onto play for Manchester City, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.
Manager Kirk hopes Duggan’s top-level experience and winning mentality can benefit his ever-improved squad.
“It’s an exciting signing for us,” he said. “Toni is a big personality, a big-game player.
“She has accumulated a lot of valuable experience since leaving Everton in 2013.
“Having played for three of the biggest clubs across Europe with Manchester City, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, she will put that experience to good use with us.
“I’m excited to get her on the pitch and back in an Everton jersey.”
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TONI DUGGAN RETURNS TO EVERTON