Leon Osman says Sunday's visitors Tottenham Hotspur should be applauded for the way they have adapted to life without Gareth Bale - and believes the Londoners could be the team to beat if Everton are to realise their European ambitions this term.
Spurs lost star man Bale when he completed a protracted world record move to Real Madrid on the penultimate day of the summer transfer window.
However, manager Andre-Villas Boas spent in the region of £95million bringing in the likes of Roberto Soldado, Paulinho and Christian Eriksen, and the Londoners head to Goodison Park fourth in the Barclays Premier League table.
And speaking ahead of the weekend's clash, Osman said: "They deserve a massive amount of credit. To lose your talisman and the man who's been regarded as the one to stop for the last few seasons and to still be winning games the way they are definitely deserves that.
"They've spread their goals and assists out throughout their team and that's all credit to the manager and their squad.
"I'm sure their manager would have known [that Bale was likely to leave] probably towards the end of last season, he would have wanted to strengthen anyway and having lost Gareth Bale they've strengthened in a few areas and they look like a very good team."
Tottenham were one of the sides to marginally pip Everton to a European finish last season and Osman added: "At the minute, I don't think any team has really run away and started to set the pace. Tottenham are certainly up there, so it will be interested to see whether they're still there at the end.
"I think if you do finish above them this year, you'll certainly qualify for Europe.
"They'll be pushing for a minimum of the top four, so if you finish above Tottenham you'll have had quite a good season."
To see what Osman had to say about his own form, why he's happy with Everton's start to the campaign and more, watch the video above now^.
Tickets for Sunday's game are still available. To buy, click here or call 0871 663 1878*.
Alternatively, visit the Park End box office at Goodison Park, Everton Two in Liverpool One or TicketQuarter in Queen Square.
^Users of the Official Everton App should navigate to the 'Video' section.