Davy Klaassen is “confident” Everton have the talent and "hunger" to help him enjoy another long run in the Europa League.
Having captained Ajax all the way to last year’s final, the Dutch midfielder knows what it takes to go far in the tournament. And ahead of the Blues’ group stage opener against Atalanta on Thursday, the summer signing is hopeful Everton can bounce back from Saturday’s loss at home to Spurs and lay the foundations for “a really good season”.
“I didn't need to lose in the final (last year) to be hungry to win at Everton - you always have to be hungry,” said the 24-year-old during Uefa’s pre-match press conference.
“It's important to start the group stage with a win because that gives you confidence and some space. English football is a different way of playing. That's what I wanted. It's something bigger and I'm enjoying it. Of course our last result wasn't what we wanted but we are ready for tomorrow and I'm confident we can have a really good season.”
Klaassen’s Ajax lost last season’s Europa League final in a 2-0 defeat to Manchester United, for whom Wayne Rooney came off the bench to feature.
Asked whether he has spoken to his fellow summer recruit about that match, Klaassen joked: “I didn't talk to Wayne about last year's final because I don't want to!
He added: “We had a difficult start (at Ajax) last year but we picked it up and I'm confident we will do the same here. We have a really good squad and we can have a good season.
“I like the Club, I like the life, and my teammates have made me feel really welcome. I need to improve, we need to improve but we'll be there (this season).”