Everton announce first signing of the summer as team-mates respond to emotional exit

Tim Iroegbunam has signed for Everton from Aston Villa for an undisclosed fee.

The 20-year-old central midfielder agreeing a three-year deal until the end of June 2027.

The England youth international becomes the Blues' first summer signing and will link up with his new teammates when Sean Dyche's side report back to Finch Farm for the start of pre-season next month.

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Described by Everton as an athletic and combative player, Iroegbunam has represented the Three Lions at Under-20 level, having been part of the side that won the UEFA Under-19s European Championships in 2022.

After enjoying a stand-out campaign on loan with Championship outfit QPR in 2022/23 – where he made 32 league appearances and scored two goals – Birmingham-born Iroegbunam returned to Aston Villa last season as Unai Emery's side secured a fourth-placed finish.

He also made his first outings in European competition in 2023/24, featuring in both legs of Villa's last 16 Europa Conference League win over Ajax, as well as being involved against Lille and Olympiacos in later stages as the Midlanders reached the semi-finals of the competition.

Iroegbunam began his career at West Bromwich Albion and made his senior debut for the Baggies in a Premier League game in May 2021, having initially joined their academy at the age of eight.

He moved to Aston Villa for an undisclosed fee in July 2021, making his senior debut for the club in February 2022 before signing a new long-term contract a month later.

Iroegbunam had earlier said an emotional goodbye to Aston Villa. Taking to social media, he wrote on Instagram: “After an amazing 3 years at Aston Villa it is time to say goodbye. I have so much to thank everyone at this club for from making my Premier League debut to playing in Europe.

“It has truly been amazing. Everyone involved in this journey has been so good to me and I won’t forget it.

“It was an honour to call myself a Villan. To my teammates, coaches and to you fans. You will all be missed!
“Lots of love, Tim Iroegbunam.”

One of Iroegbunam’s Aston Villa team-mates Matty Cash responded to the post with a reply of “What a player” and a crying emoji.