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Mel Stein talks to BBC Radio Five Live
"It's giving Paul's career a new direction."
 real 28k

Gascoigne's former England team-mate, Chris Waddle
"They're getting a quality player for nothing."
 real 28k

Monday, 17 July, 2000, 15:47 GMT
Gazza signs for Everton
Paul Gascoigne
Gascoigne: Delighted to be given a chance by Everton
Paul Gascoigne joined Everton on a free transfer and then confessed: "They are taking a big gamble on me."

Gascoigne passed a routine medical and has signed a two year contract at Goodison Park.

He appeared alongside Everton owner Bill Kenwright at a press conference insisting he can still make an impact in the Premiership.

Gascoigne said: "I am looking forward to a massive challenge at a massive club.

"Everyone says I've got no brains and my brains are in my feet, so I will let my feet do the talking at Everton.

"I know I can't afford to let anybody down. It is a big gamble for everyone at the club, and I know I will be followed all the time, but it is up to me to keep my nose clean."

And he even refuses to give up on England, saying: "The target is still to get back into the England squad and I don't see any reason why I can't do that if I stay injury free.

"I've already got my eye on an Everton season ticket for Kevin Keegan."

Gascoigne added: "It's up to me now. Everyone knows how much Walter Smith means to me.

Paul Gascoigne
Liverpool game excites Gascoigne
"Everton have given me an opportunity to prove I've still got it, and I hope to grasp that opportunity fully.

"The Everton fans know the game. They will be telling me how to play. I just want to prove everybody wrong who has been writing me off.

"I've been working hard and I can't wait to meet up with the other Everton guys."

Gascoigne was being flown to Italy immediately to join Everton's pre-season training camp in Tuscany.

And he already has his sights set on one fixture, revealing: "Bill Kenwright has given me book on derby games, and I can't wait to play against Liverpool, if selected."

Kenwright was elated at Everton's headline grabbing capture.

He said: "We've got a great footballer here. It was important we got a headliner, but we have not just got him for that.

"The most important and dominant thing when we met was his passion. It was a fantastic passion, and of course he has an extraordinary relationship with our manager.

He has a fantastic passion and an extraordinary relationship with our manager. We are thrilled.
  Everton owner Bill Kenwright
"It was thrilling for me, as an Evertonian, to hear his passion. The move came out of several conversations between Walter and the board.

"Walter had sorted apsects of the team out in the transfer market, and we wondered if there could be a cherry to give our fans, something of a real footballing nature.

"We went through every suggestion, and this lad's name was at the top of the list every time."

Gascoigne only started nine league and cup games and made two appearances as a substitute for Middlesbrough last season after a 3m move from Rangers, and did not play again after breaking his arm against Aston Villa on 14 February.

The chance to play again under Smith, his manager and mentor at Rangers, was clearly a big factor in Gascoigne's decision to head to Goodison Park.

Gascoigne's long-term representative Mel Stein said: "They are like father and son. They have a terrific relationship. It's a mutual admiration society."

Everton are also poised to complete the 5m signings of Sheffield Wednesday's Niclas Alexandersson and SV Hamburg's Danish midfield man Thomas Gravesen in the next 48 hours.

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See also:

14 Jul 00 |  Liverpool
Liverpool land 6m Barmby
14 Jul 00 |  Sunderland
Sunderland complete Hutchison deal
13 Jul 00 |  Everton
Everton clinch Nyarko deal
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