Everton will help Johnson's England ambitions

Andrew Johnson picked Everton for his return to the Barclays Premiership believing that it will boost his England career.

Andrew Johnson picked Everton for his return to the Barclays Premiership believing that it will boost his England career.

The 25-year-old, Everton’s record signing at £8.6m (€12.6m) from Crystal Palace, took time off from duty on stand-by with England’s World Cup squad to seal his own return to the big time.

Johnson is fully aware that while he has been saying hello to a new career on Merseyside, it will probably be goodbye to England and the World Cup.

If Wayne Rooney does pull out it is expected it will be Jermain Defoe who grabs the final striking role for the finals which start in little over a week.

And that eats away at Johnson, who said: “Coming here will improve my international chances. It helps. Playing alongside established Premiership players can only benefit me.

“Big players will help me. If I can start scoring goals in the top flight it can only help my England ambitions.

“I wouldn’t say being in the Championship completely stopped my England career because I was involved in a couple of squads.

“But I was always only on the fringe. I scored 17 goals last season and if I could have scored 10 of those in the Premier League I would be on the plane to Germany.”

Everton boss David Moyes revealed Johnson would not be his last big summer signing.

Moyes added: “We may have something in a couple of days time.”

That will be a new centre-half, with the likelihood now that Everton will pay £5.5m (€8m) for Wolves defender Joleon Lescott.

They had been chasing Chelsea’s Robert Huth, but it is believed Middlesbrough have not only met the asking price but made the German World Cup squad man a massive wages offer, far ahead of anything Everton could manage.

For the time being, Moyes is just happy to have got Johnson, adding: “We tried for him a year ago and went back again this summer. He wanted to come to us and that has been a real boost.”

Johnson has left behind a club in turmoil, with the wrangle between chairman Simon Jordan and former boss Iain Dowie now becoming a matter.

For Johnson it appears a relief to be back in the top flight.

He said: “It was very hard in the Championship, mentally hard. A lot of people thought I was going to leave at the end of the season when Palace were relegated, but I was a professional and got my head around it and worked for the team.

“I had some injuries last season and that didn’t help. It’s such a hard place to play. Everyone expected Palace to get straight back up but it doesn’t work like that.

“I feel I have done my bit for Palace. I had an agreement with the chairman Simon Jordan and he has been top-class about things.

“He said to me: ‘Give us one more season and we’ll see where we are at the end of it.’ But we didn’t go up and he allowed me to go, albeit at a big price.”

Johnson’s mentor Dowie has gone too, and the player added: “I just want to wish Iain Dowie the very best. Without him I wouldn’t be the player I am. I am sure he will do a great job for Charlton.

“I don’t know what has gone on off the field. There may have been arguments but the chairman there has been really good with me. The rest is in the past now.”

Now Johnson can at least ease what is expected to be World Cup heartache knowing he is back in the Premiership.

He said: “I was impressed with the gaffer (Moyes) when I was taken to the training ground. I was impressed with what he said he was going to do with the club and the people he would be bringing in.

“I was sure that the club would be going forward. But the main thing was the size of the club and the fact that I would be playing in front of 40,000 people each week.

“It can be intimidating. I discovered that when I came here with Palace, so to have them on your side was a real factor for me.

“I haven’t come to Everton not to win things. I believe Everton can do that and if I am scoring week-in-week-out for them, which is my aim, then it makes everything possible.”

Johnson added: “Historically they are amongst the biggest clubs in British football. They got into the Champions League last season and I do not see any reason whey they cannot be challenging to do that again.

“I am looking forward to playing alongside James Beattie. He is a top player and you only have to look at the goals he got last season. I recall seeing one particularly brilliant chip on the TV, shows his quality.

“He scored a lot of goals for Southampton. He is an instinctive player and a strong man to have alongside you. I feel we can play well together.”

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