Davy Klaassen says Everton’s new-look squad are gelling more by the day – and that can help secure Europa League progress on Thursday.
The Dutch midfielder made his competitive Blues debut in last week’s win over MFK Ružomberok in the Europa League third qualifying round first leg at Goodison.
The summer signing from Ajax delivered a display laced with neat touches and crisp passing, as Everton secured a 1-0 advantage to take to Slovakia on Thursday.
Klaassen accepted the Blues could improve on what was the Club’s first ever competitive match in the month of July. He is certain, however, that Everton will benefit significantly from getting a first serious outing under their belts – and a subsequent week’s work on the USM Finch Farm training pitches.
“We have had the chance to play together now, in a competitive match, and that is going to help us as a team,” said the 24-year-old.
“The key is to know each other and understand what your teammate is going to do with the ball. You have to get that special feeling with each other. That has to grow but it is possible.
“In the time I have been at the Club, I have already got to know my teammates more and more and that has proven important. We will be better this week than before and, hopefully, it will continue like that.
“We know it will be a tough game but if we show our quality we know we can progress.”
Klaassen captained Ajax to the final of last season’s Europa League. The Amsterdam side played 14 matches to reach the showpiece in Sweden, having entered the competition at the group stage following their play-off round exit from the Champions League.
Ajax were beaten by Manchester United in that Stockholm final. And if Everton are to go one better than the Dutch Club, they will play a further 18 European matches this term.
“You need a lot of players because the season will be long,” said Klaassen. “We had a lot of matches at Ajax last year. You cannot have 15 or 16 players, you need 20 to 25.
“We played a lot of matches last year at Ajax and, hopefully, we can go that far this season with Everton.
“We have made some very good signings, so we have a talented squad to give the manager plenty of options. That is going to be important for the season ahead.”