Nikica Jelavic has written a letter to Everton fans thanking them for their support during his time there.
Hull City completed the signing of Nikica Jelavic on Wednesday for a fee reported to be in the region of £6 million. Things hadn't worked out for the Croatian this season at Goodison Park but he still reflected on his time at the club with good memories.
Writing in an open letter to the Everton fans, the former Glasgow Rangers striker said "I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the Everton fans from the bottom of my heart for their support. They gave me their backing from day one and never stopped believing in me, which is something I will always remember."
Jelavic instantly became a fans favourite after joining the club two years ago. He scored the winner on his first start in a match against Tottenham Hotspur. Despite only joining halfway through the 2011-2012 season, Jelavic went on to be Everton's top goalscorer. He scored 11 goals in 16 appearances and Nikica said that period showed the real him, that was what he is capable of, and he is disappointed he could not continue in that rich vein of form.
"Everton supporters have a special way of making you feel like one of them, and even when I was not in the team in more recent times I always felt they were behind me." Despite his fondness for the club, Jelavic has decided to move on in search of more first team football. With the World Cup just round the corner he wants to get back into Niko Kovac's plans for the national team.
"Playing for Croatia is something I also take huge pride in and with a World Cup on the horizon I was in the situation of needing to play more games to make sure I remain in Niko Kovac's thoughts."
Hull City may have secured one of the best signings of the window, potentially. As Jelavic said himself that first six months in England showed the best side of his game, and Steve Bruce will be hoping he has an immediate impact for The Tigers. With Shane Long also set to join Hull from West Bromwich Albion, they are set for a new look strike partnership with the hope they can get the goals to secure Premier League safety.
Jelavic was glad that he could end his Everton career with two goals in the recent FA Cup game. "While I'm sad to wave farewell to Everton and all my friends; it is time for my next challenge. I'm only pleased that I was able to say goodbye with two goals in the FA Cup win against QPR, and share some special celebrations with them one last time."
Nikica Jelavic has shown a nice touch of class here, by deciding to write a letter thanking the Everton fans for their support during his two years at the club. Many players often leave on bad terms, but despite only featuring a handful of times this season, the striker has not lost any respect for the club, and he will certainly be welcomed back at Goodison Park if and when he returns.
image: © Fabio Venni