Tomorrow night, Anthony Gordon will return to Goodison Park for the first time as a Newcastle United player, having left Everton for £45m in January, writes the LiverpoolEcho.
His departure upset some Blues supporters, and he is expected to receive a heated reception at Goodison. Since his move, the winger has had plenty to say about his time at Everton.
During a tour of Newcastle’s training ground, he was heard saying he felt a little bad for leaving. However, in his first official statement about the move, he revealed that he never intended to disrespect Everton and that it was a difficult decision for him. He had spent his entire footballing career at Everton and acknowledged that the move was an opportunity that he could not pass up.
“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.”
“To Everton…. I came to this club at the age of 11 and not only did it give me a place to play football but it gave me a second family,” he wrote on Twitter.
“The club has shaped me into the footballer and more importantly the person I am today, it has given me everything I could have asked for and more.
“Like any young scouser living 2 minutes from the stadium, I dreamt of scoring inside Goodison, in front of thousands with the fans cheering my name.
“I remember travelling to away games with my mates, singing the players songs and dreaming it would happen to me.
“Last year felt so surreal because all of my childhood dreams were becoming reality. I wish I could relive some of them days but I’ll settle for the memories, which will last a lifetime for me.
“To the fans, you gave me some of the best nights of my life. You made me a better player. I have always thrived off your energy and you always made me run harder and faster.
“There has been some difficult moments this year but I never took any of it personally; stick by the team because they need you.
“I’ve built so many good relationships over the years with Players, Fans, Coaches and other members of staff and am going to miss everyone deeply.
“Although the past 2 years have been tough at moments, the people inside Finch Farm always made me come in with a smile.
“I want to thank everyone that has helped me over the past 11 years I’ve been at this amazing club, there are way too many people to name but I will forever be grateful for the time people have invested in me.
“I love this club and I always have from the day I joined but the time has come for me to leave. I know many won’t understand but the next chapter awaits. I will always wish the best for this club and always be watching on. From the bottom of my heart thank you and good luck. Anthony.”
Last month, Gordon expressed his disappointment about the farewell he received from Everton, stating that he believed his boyhood club should have given him more credit. “Yeah, it did; it hurt me a little bit, I’m not going to lie to you,” he said about the statement released by Everton upon his departure.
“I’m a 22-year-old lad I’m not going to handle every situation in life perfectly but as a club with thousands of people working for them, I think the effort I gave them last year, I was a massive part in keeping the club up.
“Players player, manager’s player of the year, so for them to not really show me any credit or thank me for anything it hurt me a little bit.
In the same interview, Gordon admitted that Everton was his entire life. He was raised in Everton and spent most of time there instead of going out with friends and such when he was younger. He added that it holds a huge place in his heart.
Prior to the Thursday match, Gordon defended the way in which he secured his transfer to Newcastle, claiming that rumors of him refusing to train at Finch Farm were “misconstrued.” When asked if he had ever come across untrue reports about himself in the media, the winger replied, “Probably everything from the last year, I think! I don’t hold the media responsible for this because they can receive information from external sources. However, much of the reporting about how I secured this transfer was inaccurate. It was misconstrued. As a player, it can be difficult to deal with false media reports, but you learn to ignore them, and it no longer has an impact on me.”