Everton manager Ronald Koeman has expressed his delight over the signing of Gylfi Sigurdsson and revealed that he has been chasing the esteemed Icelandic international for quite some time.
Sigurdsson finally completed his £45m move to Goodison Park on Wednesday (16 August) after weeks of drawn out negotiations between Swansea City and Everton and was paraded in front of his new club's supporters before their 2-0 Europa League victory over Hajduk Split on Thursday.
Koeman, who is still scouring the transfer market for further recruits, said Sigurdsson had been on his radar for a "long time" and believes the Icelandic international was one of the key players Everton needed to bring in this summer.
The former Southampton manager also briefly discussed how he will utilise the former Reading star, and hinted that he may hand Everton's club-record signing a free role during the course of the season.
"I'm very pleased, of course," Koeman said in a press conference. "I mentioned before [that he was] a long time on my list and now I thought it was possible. He was one of the key players to bring to Everton and I'm pleased and happy that we finally had that agreement. I'm very happy that he's a player of Everton.
"He can play as an offensive midfielder, or in a free role like he did at Swansea. He's a really important player in midfield, strong in set plays and will make the team stronger than it is already.
Sigurdsson did not have much in the way of a pre-season, with Swansea boss Paul Clement opting to omit the former Tottenham playmaker from his side's friendlies due to the ongoing speculation over his future.
The 27-year-old admitted himself that he is not ready to play 90 minutes of competitive football, but Koeman, who is delighted at the smorgasbord of options he has at his disposal, confirmed that his marquee recruit will be included in his squad as he prepares the Toffees for three away trips to Manchester City, Hajduk Split and Chelsea respectively.
"That's for the next few days, he will train tomorrow and do a test," Koeman said. "I'm not worried about his fitness, as a player you need game-time but his fitness is okay, he's a good professional and will get time in the next week. He will be a part in all the games next week.
"You need competition in your team, it's not about 11 players, we have a lot of international players and we will get injuries. It's important to have good players on the bench and change the game when necessary. That's what you like to have as a manager."