Michael Keane believes Everton have all the tools needed to challenge for honours this season.
The summer signing from Burnley is one of seven new faces to boost Ronald Koeman’s Blues squad and Keane has seen enough already to recognise the quality within the group.
And although plenty of Everton’s rivals have strengthened their own hands in the past few months, he is expecting the Toffees to be right in the mix when it comes to landing silverware.
“We want to start challenging for things now, be it cups or the top four - that’s a target for us,” he told evertonfc.com. “It will not be easy because there are top teams out there also spending money.
“Whether it happens in time or straight away, we will see but we have to try to do that this season.
“Looking at our squad, I don’t see why we can’t aim for that. We’ve strengthened a lot this year. If you look at how we performed last year, there’s no reason why we can’t go a few steps more.”
Keane also recognises the need for clever squad management as the Toffees compete on four fronts both domestically and abroad.
Blues boss Koeman has already deployed a variety of different formations in both the Europa League and in the Premier League opener against Stoke City, and Keane says Everton will have to remain flexible as they juggle the challenges they will face over the course of the season.
However, that has already given him the opportunity to broaden his footballing knowledge, after sticking to a familiar system while at former club Burnley.
“I think you have got to be more adaptable,” added Keane. “At Burnley it was always playing in a straight four with another bank of four in front of you. The fact that I’ve already played in a four and in a three or five here, it’s about getting used to them and being able to switch. I feel like I’ve done it well so far but there’s always improvement to be done.
“I’ve learnt plenty already; different ideas, different ways of playing. Not just from the manager but also the experienced players I’m playing alongside. There are a lot of international players in the team and a lot that can be learned every day on the training pitch.
“I’m always listening and taking advice on board from the lads. On the pitch, they’ve given me advice and are telling me how to expect things to unfold because I’m not used to playing for Everton yet.”