Arnaut Danjuma’s Everton Journey: From U-Turn Drama to Merseyside Hope
Arnaut Danjuma’s entrance to the conversation at Finch Farm is calm and collected. As he discusses fitness and his settling-in process at Everton, it’s not long before the elephant in the room is acknowledged.
In a twist that rocked the January transfer window, the Dutchman stunningly reversed a ‘done deal’ with Goodison Park, opting to join Tottenham instead. This move left Everton supporters angry and bewildered, marked by the drama with yellow ties on TV screens.
The transfer saga took a peculiar turn when Danjuma, en route to Liverpool, changed his course at Crewe, heading the opposite way. He sets the record straight, dismissing rumors of kissing the Everton badge. So, Arnaut, what transpired that day?
“The media may have embellished things, like holding the shirt and XYZ… but it wasn’t that extreme,” he tells Mail Sport. “I wanted to join Everton, that much is clear. Other factors led me elsewhere for certainty due to the uncertain circumstances.”
Regrets? None at all, Danjuma asserts. He reflects on the decision without remorse, acknowledging the complexity of joining a manager-less club. “Regret is a strong word. At the time, I felt I made the right choice. Signing for a club without a manager is tough.”
Facing a hostile reception during his Spurs visit to Goodison in April, Danjuma now believes this is an opportune time for his Merseyside transition.
“What prompted my change of mind? My desire has been consistent. I was eager to join Everton. But when Tottenham’s chance arose, Everton lacked a manager (after Lampard’s departure). Player-manager rapport matters, and I wanted clarity,” he explains.
While acknowledging that hindsight offers insights, Danjuma remains unwavering. He shares that Richarlison played a pivotal role in convincing him to embrace Goodison Park once more, rejecting advances from AC Milan and Feyenoord.
Richarlison, a true Everton enthusiast, reinforced the allure of the club. Danjuma’s conviction solidified with Everton’s plans, the people, the environment, and the culture. “I genuinely believe I’m second time lucky.”
A personality that radiates charisma, Danjuma contradicts previous attitude criticisms. His summer hiatus wasn’t typical; he scaled Mount Fuji in Japan. “It was on my bucket list,” he grins. “Climbing up, even the elderly inspired me.”
Anticipating Sean Dyche’s rigorous pre-season routine, Danjuma, originally from Nigeria, has worked through a minor injury. As the opener against Fulham approaches, he aims for a more positive reception than his last Goodison visit with Spurs.
Reflecting on the past, he recalls, “You know you’ll face some heat. But that day, the crowd’s energy amplified my affection for the club. Experiencing Goodison Park firsthand, it’s different. The fanbase, it’s unique.”