Everton have signed Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku for a club record fee of £28m.
The 21-year-old Belgian World Cup forward, who featured on loan for the Merseyside outfit last season, has now signed a permanent five-year contract with the side.
The fee paid for Lukaku smashes Everton's previous highest of £15million that had been invested in his international team-mate Marouane Fellaini, back in August 2008. Chairman Bill Kenwright described the deal as the end of an “11-month quest” to keep the youngster at the club.
His future has been the subject of intense speculation over the summer, with La Liga champions Atletico Madrid among the clubs interested in his services, and for this reason alone, he has to go down as an impressive capture on the Toffees behalf.
He scored 15 times in 31 Premier League appearances during his successful initial spell at Goodison Park and quickly made himself a favourite among Evertonians.
His goals proved vital as the club achieved an impressive fifth placed finish, missing out on European football by the slimmest of margins, and Roberto Martinez will be hoping his record signing’s contribution will prove just as influential throughout the upcoming campaign.
Prior to the official announcement of his completed move, Lukaku posted a picture of himself on Twitter seated on a jet, giving a thumbs-up and broad smile, along with the caption: 'Time to write a new chapter.'
He later announced, “I am really excited about re-joining Everton. I had a fantastic experience last season and a great relationship with the manager, the chairman, the staff, the players and the fans. I can’t wait to get started again and I’m looking forward to a successful season.”
Evertonians are certainly excited for the Belgian striker’s permanent arrival, as the following reactions show.
Whenever I think about the £28m signing of Lukaku it's like a shot of adrenaline, my heart pounds and I have to do a mad fist pump. #EFC— Louis Tod (@louis_tod) July 31, 2014
Roberto had a dream, to build our football team, Bill found some money so we brought Lukaku back home. #EFC— ⚽️Jordan Gifkins⚽️ (@JGifkins) July 31, 2014
Absolutely made up with the Lukaku signing!! Fair play Kenwright liid...looks like he'll be shopping in Aldi for a few years now tho!!! #EFC— Phil Marshall (@phil37marshall) July 31, 2014