Anthony Gordon has explained his side of the story after sealing a £40m move to Newcastle from Everton, who he wishes well in their relegation battle.
After attracting interest from Chelsea, Newcastle and Spurs in the summer, Gordon seemed happy to stay at his boyhood club and help their rebuilding process under Frank Lampard.
But the forward scored just three goals this season – one after the transfer window closed – as Everton slipped into another fight to retain their Premier League place.
The Toffees seemed intent on keeping Gordon once more but the 21-year-old forced their hand by skipping training two times in the week before handing in a formal transfer request, as confirmed by the club.
It brings to an end a sorry final week or so at Goodison Park for Gordon, who had been confronted outside the stadium by angry supporters shouting “get out of our club” and “you’re not fit to wear the shirt” among numerous other things after a defeat to Southampton.
In an interview for his new club, Gordon opened up on his relationship with the fans who once praised him.
“It was a really difficult decision and it’s been a really tough week for me,” Gordon told NUFC TV.
“I’ve been at Everton for my whole footballing career so far, so it’s been difficult, but this is an opportunity that I couldn’t really miss out on.
“I didn’t mean to disrespect or offend anyone at Everton, and I’m hoping they know that and hopefully they can reinvest the money now and stay in the Premier League.
“I never imagined it or wanted it to go like that, that’s why it’s been such a tough week for me. But I just couldn’t miss out on this opportunity and they got a lot of money for me, so I’m hoping they can reinvest it into the squad.”
— AG (@anthonygordon) January 29, 2023
Gordon also posted a message to his former club on social media, with the comments unsurprisingly turned off.
‘To Everton. I came to this club at the age of 11,” he said. “Not only did it give me a place to play football, but a second family. Like any young Scouser living two minutes from the stadium, I’ve dreamt of scoring inside Goodison, in front of thousands of fans singing my name. The Goodison crowd always give me that edge that made me run harder and faster.
“I want to thank everyone that’s helped me over the past 11 years at this amazing club. There are far too many people to name but I’ll be forever grateful for the time people have invested in me.
“I love this club. I always have since the day I joined. From the bottom of my heart, good luck and thank you.”
Everton have identified Lucas Moura, out of contract with Tottenham this summer, as a possible immediate upgrade on Gordon.