Toni Duggan: England forward returns to Everton after eight years away following Atletico Madrid exit

Toni Duggan has signed a two-year deal to return to Everton, eight years after she left the club; 29-year-old was free to move back to England after the expiry of her Atletico Madrid contract; Duggan also played for Man City and Barcelona after leaving Everton in 2013

Toni Duggan
Image: Toni Duggan has signed a two-year deal to return to Everton

Toni Duggan has returned to Everton on a two-year deal, eight years after she left the club.

Duggan departed Everton in 2013, but following spells with Manchester City, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, she has opted to come back to her first professional side.

The 29-year-old forward told evertontv: "It feels so good to be back home. This is the club I started out at when I was younger.

"To be back here now, it's an amazing feeling. As soon as I knew I could return to Everton, I was coming back."

Duggan experienced Champions League football with Everton during her first spell at the club, although they have failed to return to European competition since her departure.

However, Duggan wants to bring continental football back to Everton, saying: "It's so important for the club, the team, the manager. It's everyone's objective.

Toni Duggan
Image: Duggan left Atletico Madrid upon the expiry of her contract at the end of last season

"When I met with Everton, they stated they wanted Champions League football. For me personally, I've played Champions League football right throughout my career.

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"I've always been part of it and it's the pinnacle of a player's career. I want that. I'm ambitious about it.

"It would be a dream come true if I can get Everton back in the Champions League. That's where this club belongs and I know we can achieve it.

"I'm here now, I'm back in blue and hopefully I can give back to the club what they gave me."

As well as helping Everton into the Champions League, Duggan also won silverware during her spell at the club.

She lifted the FA Women's Premier League Cup as part of her breakthrough season in 2007/08, scoring in extra-time in their semi-final win against Watford.

Duggan also lifted the first FA Women's Cup with Everton in 2010, helping them to victory over Arsenal.

Everton Women manager Willie Kirk welcomed Duggan's arrival, saying: "It's an exciting signing for us. Toni is a big personality, a big-game player.

"She has accumulated a lot of valuable experience since leaving Everton in 2013.

"Having played for three of the biggest clubs across Europe with Manchester City, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, she will put that experience to good use with us.

"I'm excited to get her on the pitch and back in an Everton jersey."

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