Anwar El Ghazi has completed his loan move to Everton from Aston Villa for the remainder of the 2021/22 season.
The 26-year-old Netherlands international winger becomes the Blues’ third signing of the winter transfer window after the arrivals of Ukraine left-back Vitalii Mykolenko and Scotland right-back Nathan Patterson.
Forward El Ghazi joined Aston Villa on loan in August 2018 and was instrumental in their promotion to the Premier League, scoring the opening goal in their Championship play-off final victory over Derby County in May 2019.
A permanent move to the Midlands from French club Lille followed, with the right-footer becoming a popular figure with Villa supporters.
After registering four goals and four assists in 2019/20, El Ghazi – who started his professional career at Dutch giants Ajax - reached double figures for Premier League goals last season, scoring 10 times from 17 starts and 11 appearances as a substitute. That included a late winner at Goodison Park in May 2021.
The winger, who will wear the number 34 shirt, is now looking forward to making his Blues bow and is eligible for Saturday’s trip to Norwich at Carrow Road (3pm GMT).
“I’m really excited. Everton is a big club, I cannot wait to get started,” El Ghazi told evertontv.
“I want to show my quality to my teammates, to the Club and, of course, the fans. I want to put a smile on their faces.
Welcome to Everton, @elghazi1995! ✍️🔵 pic.twitter.com/YuV0iHRmer— Everton (@Everton) January 13, 2022
“I’m ready and willing to work hard for it and for all of us to work together.
“I’ve met a few fans already and it’s great to see how people live for the Club. It’s basically their religion. You just want to give it your all and show them what you can do to make them happy.
“I just want to focus on working hard, getting into the team, fighting for my place and, with the boys, to get Everton where it belongs - that is much higher up the table. We have a really good squad.
“I can always score a goal in an important moment. I can add a lot of value with my pace and technique going forward. I can hold the ball and I am decent in one-on-ones. I am ready and can’t wait.
“If I can score goals like the one I scored against Everton, for Everton now, then I will be a happy man.”
El Ghazi, who has two senior international caps for the Netherlands, was born in the Dutch town of Barendrecht in May 1995 to Moroccan parents.
Joining Ajax aged 18, he made his senior debut at the start of the 2014/15 campaign, going on to play 70 matches for the Amsterdam club before signing for Lille in January 2017.
El Ghazi added: “I’ve played at Goodison Park a few times now and it’s a beautiful stadium.
“It’s a bit different than other stadiums and that’s what makes it quite unique. I’m really looking forward to playing there for Everton.
“We have a really strong squad. The wingers are doing well and have a lot of quality. It will be hard work but competition with others is good and that is how you achieve great things.
“I will work hard and give everything I have. That is the least you can expect from a player. That is what I will start with and from there hopefully I will be able to score goals and give assists.”