Forward Steven Naismith leaves Rangers to move to Everton



By Adam Higgins
Chief Scotland Correspondent



Scottish international Naismith has spent his entire playing career with Kilmarnock and Rangers in the Scottish Premier League


Everton have signed striker Steven Naismith from Rangers after he rejected a contract transfer to the new company with the Ibrox club.

The 25-year-old forward has moved on a free transfer to Goodison Park and penned a four-year deal.

Everton boss David Moyes told the club's website: "We are delighted that Steven has agreed to join us. He will be an excellent addition to the players we already have and we look forward to him being fit and ready to play at the start of the season. He is an established international who can play in a number of positions. He has a flexibility we always like in our players and which will hopefully prove to be very useful for us."

Naismith began his career at Kilmarnock where he won the Scottish Football Writers' young player of the year award in 2006 and the Scottish Professional Football Association's equivalent a year later.

He switched to Rangers in August 2007 for £1.9m and scored 28 goals in 98 league appearances for the club, although his 2011/2012 season was ended in October after he suffered a cruciate knee injury against Aberdeen. Last campaign, he managed nine goals in eleven games including a hat-trick in the first Old Firm derby of the season against Celtic in the SPL in October at Ibrox scoring his first goals against the Hoops. Naismith also netted in the 1-1 draw against Hearts in their opening game. His season began with eight goals in the first eight games with a brace coming against Dunfermline where he was punished retrospectively by the SFA for elbowing Pars defender Austin McCann.

During his time at Rangers, Naismith achieved three Scottish Premier League titles, one Scottish Cup winners medal and also triumphed in two Scottish League Cup finals.

He has fifteen international caps for Scotland so far including two goals and will join up with the rest of his Goodison Park team-mates for pre-season training as they build up to the 2012/2013 Premier League campaign in the next few days.

Naismith said on his move to the English top-flight: "It is a great honour to be joining a club of Everton's wonderful history and to have the chance to play with such a talented group of players in the world's best league in front of such a passionate group of fans. I look forward greatly to working with the manager David Moyes and all the staff at Everton and working hard to deliver on the pitch to repay their, and the chairman Mr Kenwright's, faith and belief in me."


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