Everton have confirmed the appointment of Steve Walsh, the highly-respected head of recruitment at champions Leicester City, as director of football.
Former school teacher Walsh, who also operated as assistant manager with the Foxes, joins Ronald Koeman at Goodison Park after the Merseyside club failed with an ambitious move for Monchi, Sevilla’s technical director, last month.
During a career spread across spells with Bury, Chester, Chelsea, Newcastle, Hull City and Leicester, Walsh has been credited with unearthing talents such as Gianfranco Zola, Didier Drogba, Michael Essien, Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez and N’Golo Kante.
Speaking to Everton’s official website, the Chorley-born former footballer said: “I’m proud and privileged to become director of football at such a fantastic and historic club. With a new manager and a new major shareholder, it feels very much like a new era here at Everton and that potential is what is most exciting.”
The departure of Walsh, the brother of former Everton striker Mickey, represents a major setback for Leicester after proving so integral to their recruitment policy in recent seasons and helping to stitch the wounds caused by Nigel Pearson’s acrimonious departure back together again last summer.
Koeman, who has worked under a director of football model before, most notably and unsuccessfully so with Louis van Gaal at Ajax in 2004, added: “It’s really good for the club to have someone in Steve who has shown his quality in his job at a number of clubs over many years.
“That’s the experience and quality he will bring to us at a good time in the season. He has a great deal of knowledge about building for the long-term and the magnificent work he did at Leicester on top of the job he did at Chelsea makes us excited to have him here at Everton.”