Everton have appointed Southampton boss Ronald Koeman as their new manager as the Dutchman succeeds Roberto Martinez who was sacked in May.
Former Wigan boss Martinez was dismissed as the Toffees’ manager after a 3-0 defeat to Sunderland with just one win in ten league games as they finished their campaign in 11th place.
In a statement on the club’s website, Koeman said he was delighted to start a new chapter in his career and believes Everton is in store for a bright future.
“I believe in the Club, in the team, in the fans and in our ability to achieve things in the future,” said the Dutchman.
“Everton is a club with a great history and real ambition and it is a proud feeling for me to be part of what we want to go and do. I am looking forward to meeting everyone at the club and to preparing for a big season in the Premier League.”
Koeman took charge at St. Marys in 2014 following Mauricio Pochettino’s departure to Tottenham and led the south-coast club to seventh and sixth in his two seasons in charge.
Southampton will be search for a new manager former Ajax boss Frank de Boer and Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe among the early frontrunners with the bookies to take over at St. Marys.
Everton chairman Bill Kenwright said they were delighted to have secure their first choice to succeed Martinez and hopes Koeman continues his strong track record on Merseyside.
“We are really pleased to have secured the man who was our number one target,” said the 70-year-old.
“Ronald has such a strong track record in the game, instantly commanding respect for what he achieved as a player and for his qualities and accomplishments as a manager. The hopes and aspirations that we all have as Evertonians are with him.”
Koeman enjoyed an impressive playing career winning the European Championship with the Netherlands in 1988 and also won the Champions League with PSV Eindhoven that same year and with Barcelona in 1992, scoring the winner against Sampdoria at Wembley.
As a manager, he guided both Ajax and PSV Eindhoven to Dutch league titles and has also managed Vitesse Arnhem, Benfica, Valencia, AZ Alkmaar, Feyenoord before he moved to England two years ago.
I think this is a really strange move by Ronald Koeman. He has left a Europa League side in Southampton to join a mid-table side and it suggests that the lure of big money was the key factor in Koeman’s decision to go north.
He has been promised a big transfer budget but he will also be out to try keep hold of wanted man John Stones, but if a big money bid for Romelu Lukaku came in, I would take it. The way the Belgian is playing lately, I would take £30m + for the striker.
I still think at the end of the 2016-17 season that Southampton will still be higher up than Everton. Everton’s goal will now be to target European football next season as Koeman has a strong managerial record to achieve every target.