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Stoke City (H) Fri 26 Dec 2014, 15:00, Barclays Premier League

Martinez Assessing His Options

by Adam Clark @efc_adamclark

Roberto Martinez has not ruled out further summer arrivals at Everton but is vowing to take his time while he continues to assess the areas of his squad that need strengthening.

The new Blues boss bolstered his options last week with the signings of goalkeeper Joel Robles, defender Antolin Alcaraz and striker Arouna Kone, while forward Gerard Deulofeu arrived on a season-long loan from Barcelona.

Ivory Coast international Kone could be in line to make his first appearance when Everton travel to Accrington Stanley for a friendly on Wednesday but is one of four players who only reported back for pre-season training on Monday.

Deulofeu, Tim Howard, Ross Barkley, John Stones and Luke Garbutt all remain absent – and Martinez says he will use tonight's game, next weekend's trip to Blackburn Rovers and the Club’s three-match tour of the United States to evaluate his options.

“I think it is important to bring in players early,” the Spaniard told evertontv. “I do feel the squad has always been strong and we have got great experience, but we needed to have certain additions to have different options.

“The biggest aspect of our squad is the experience and the continuity that we have in this group and that has been very impressive to see how they adapted to the new work.

“But you can never stop searching, you can never stop looking to help the players that we’ve got at the football club.

“I can imagine the next four weeks are going to very much be about assessing the competition that we’ve got in the squad, assessing the youngsters and how quickly they can help and how quickly they can be prepared to have a role in the first team. Then we’ll always keep an eye to try to be as strong as we can be at the start of the season.”

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