Marco Silva has urged Everton to be “creative and smart” in the transfer window this summer in order to build on a mixed first season at Goodison Park.
The Everton manager wants the club make the loans of Kurt Zouma and Andre Gomes permanent while adding in other important areas.
Marco Silva’s first season at Everton: Five key things to know…
- Silva took over at Everton last summer following his sacking at Watford in the 2017/18 campaign.
- The Portuguese coach oversaw a number of summer arrivals including Richarlison, Yerry Mina and Lucas Digne.
- Loan signings Zouma and Gomes have been instrumental in Everton’s rise to eighth in the table.
- Silva found himself under pressure following a run of eight defeats in 11 league games from December to February.
- But the Toffees finished the season strongly and Silva is now targeting reinforcements going into the new campaign.
Zouma spent the season on loan at Goodison from Chelsea, while Andre Gomes is set to return to his parent club Barcelona.
Gomes has been linked with Tottenham in recent weeks, and the idea that Richarlison could leave after just a year was recently put to Silva.
And the former Hull City boss insisted Richarlison isn’t the only player Everton must retain this summer.
“Not just Richarlison. One of the key [things] for us, to give a strong signal for us and our fans, is to keep the level we have,” he said, as reported the Liverpool Echo.
“The starting point for us will be to keep the same level we have inside because just in this way we can start to improve.
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“Keep the level and attack the market in the positions we should attack and improve our squad. In this way, step by step, we can improve as a team and challenge some of the other teams in the Premier League.
“For me it is key to keep the same level and then be creative and smart also in the market to attack the right players for us.”
Everton must be realistic – Silva
While Silva hopes Everton can lure the likes of Zouma and Gomes to the club on permanent deals, he has also acknowledged the need to be realistic.
The Toffees finished 12 points behind sixth-placed Manchester United, who were deemed to have had a poor season.
They will be aiming to break into the top six next term, and a positive transfer window is key to their chances of that happening – something Silva has emphasised.
He added: “I am a really ambitious coach but I like to look at everything in a realistic way. I know what is our history and culture as a football club but I like to be honest.
“We have to make the right steps to achieve being a top four team. For us to be ready to challenge them we have to keep making the right steps but look in a realistic way.
“I don’t have doubts, right now, that we are a stronger team than at the beginning of the season. Our players, now, are in a different level than when they started the season, it is my job to do that.
“Of course, we need a strong market. It will be tough for us. We want to keep two key players who are on loan, we want to attack the market well. It is part of the job, part of the steps.
“When you finish the season strong, you just have one way to go for next season, to improve. It is what I want, to improve what we did this season and it must be our target.
“The next market will be key for us and to keep our level.”