Theo Walcott has revealed he was talked into swapping Arsenal for Everton by former England teammate Wayne Rooney.
The 28-year-old forward, who won two FA Cups with Arsenal, completed his switch from the Gunners to Goodison Park on a three-and-a-half-year contract on Wednesday evening.
Walcott joined for an undisclosed fee, but manager Sam Allardyce’s second signing of the January transfer window reportedly cost £20million.
And, the England international insists Rooney’s advice was a major factor as he targets trophies with the Toffees.
“I had numerous chats with Wayne and that was one massive factor which really tempted me to come to Everton,” Walcott told evertontv. “He told me it was a great place to play football and a club that is on the up. Those are the reasons I came here.
“This is a club with great history. The fans are brilliant, they are always passionate… and I used to find it very tough playing here.
“You want to be part of something and Wayne feels Everton are really going to improve.”
He also admitted playing for Sam Allardyce – who picked him in his short tenure as England boss – was a big draw in moving to Merseyside.
“I was very proud of what I did last season – scoring 19 goals,” said Walcott. “I want to bring that [scoring form] to Everton Football Club. I want to be part of the attacking force that is here.
“It always comes down to hard work and I think the manager here will get the best out of all the players. I just want to play football and enjoy it again. I feel this move will make that happen.
“With Sam coming in, his start was fantastic. There has been a little dip – but that happens and it is how you get out of that which makes you stronger. I feel like the players have got a point to prove, I have got a point to prove and it is going to get the best out of us, I am sure.
“I believe I can add value in any of the front-line positions. The manager will pick his team depending on who we play against. He sees me more on the right, but I can play in any of those positions. A lot of those 19 goals I scored I was playing on the right.
“I think this is going to be brilliant for me. I want to be a part of the atmosphere here and try to build something special. This is a special place to play football and the old traditions are great.”
Walcott will now turn his attention to winning silverware with Everton after a 12-year career in London.
“I’ve come to Everton because I want the club to push to the next level,” Walcott said.
“I’m very excited to be starting a new chapter and I felt this was the right place for me to be. The manager is very ambitious and I feel like the club is going in the right direction.
“The club has won trophies but I want them to win trophies now. The manager is very hungry and it’s just what I need.”