Director of Football Marcel Brands has praised the work of Chairman Bill Kenwright, Chief Executive Officer Dr Denise Barrett-Baxendale, Major Shareholder Farhad Moshiri and the Club’s Board in looking to “build a strong Everton for the future” after seven new signings were brought in before the close of the summer transfer window.
Brands and manager Marco Silva’s commitment to shaping a vibrant, energetic Everton team has been highlighted by their transfer business, with the Blues’ new additions boasting an average age of 23.5.
Having completed deals for dynamic winger Richarlison from Watford, Barcelona left-back Lucas Digne and teenage goalkeeper Joao Virginia earlier in the window, the Toffees bolstered their squad with a further four new additions last Thursday.
Brazil international forward Bernard, Colombia World Cup defender Yerry Mina and Portugal midfielder Andre Gomes – both players also joining from Barcelona - and France defender Kurt Zouma all moved to Goodison on a busy transfer deadline day.
Brands, who joined Everton in June following a successful eight-year spell as technical director at PSV Eindhoven, was eager to emphasise the roles of the Club’s Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, Mr Moshiri, Everton’s Board and boss Silva in adding talent to strengthen the first-team squad.
“We identified the positions that we need and then you have to fight for the right players you want,” Brands told evertontv.
“But, for me, it was a great help to have the Chairman because I spoke to him an average of 10 times a day.
“We had very good communication and, of course, I am happy with the people around me - and happy the owner makes it possible along with the work from Denise and the Board.
“I was very impressed, especially on the last day, with the people alongside me - the legal team, the finance team. I’m very grateful that they were there, otherwise we wouldn’t have managed [to complete the deals].
“I try to find players that have the level we’re looking for but still of the age that they can grow. I think we did that.
“Everton is an historic club, with fans with big expectations and we have to manage that in the right way. I think we made the right signings to improve the team.
“But the goal is more to build a strong Everton for the future, with young players from our own Academy, with new signings of a good age and we also need some experience in the team.
“I think we’ve got a little more balance in the team, too, and that was important.”
Brands has spoken of how he and Toffees manager Silva have a shared vision for the Club’s future. He revealed he worked closely with the Portuguese in convincing the new signings to move to Merseyside but emphasised how the players’ hunger to join the Club also shone through.
“I always used the manager because he is working every day on the pitch with the players so the fact he is very involved helped me a lot,” Brands explained.
“Together with me, he helped to convince the players and it was good to have him on my side.
“And we have the same goal, of course, we want to have a strong squad for Everton and I think he is happy at the end [of the window].
“If you approach a player, a new signing, then you must have the feeling the player wants to be a part of Everton and the Everton family.
“We had that with all the players. They both spoke really positively about Everton.
“They had the desire to complete the deal and that also gives you the energy to get it done.”
The new signings will boost a squad already brimming with positivity, with many established players hailing the boss’s intense, varied and progressive training sessions.
Brands believes the fact the players are enjoying their football will only drive up performance levels.
“I think from day one, they work hard, but in a clear direction in how they want to play”, added the Dutchman.
“The players enjoy training and that’s important because, if the manager has an idea, the player has to follow that idea.
“And they like it, they do everything with the ball, they play football with how they like to play. I think pleasure is important on the pitch.”