Carlo Ancelotti and Marcel Brands have spoken of their confidence in Everton’s talented First-Team squad as they reiterated their determination to deliver success at Goodison Park.
After a positive opening to the 2020/21 season, which sees the Blues sitting fifth in the Premier League – four points off top spot – Ancelotti says Everton are “where we want to be in this moment” in their bid for European qualification at the end of the campaign.
Meanwhile, Director of Football Brands believes the Club emerged from “one of the most challenging transfers windows ever” with a valuable squad blended with a balance of youth and experience.
Speaking at Everton’s General Meeting, shown virtually to Shareholders across the world due to the coronavirus pandemic, Ancelotti said: “For this season we made good signings during the transfer window and the squad improved. We’ve had some good results and we are where we want to be in this moment – the position to fight for Europe at the end.
“[Winning silverware] is a strong motivation for every one of us – to bring this Club to where it was when Howard Kendall was manager. We are working for this but we don’t have to be obsessed about it. The fact that we want to win is a strong motivation but not an obsession because sometimes that doesn’t permit you to give 100 per cent.”
Despite the challenges from the coronavirus pandemic, Ancelotti also praised the backing he has received from Majority Shareholder, Farhad Moshiri, Chairman Bill Kenwright and the Club’s Board during his time as Everton manager, adding: “The support has been really important. [The coronavirus pandemic] has been a really difficult period but all the time our owner and Board were there to support us.”
The average value of Everton’s individual players has more than doubled in the past two-and-half years.
The summer transfer window saw the arrivals of high-class trio James Rodriguez, Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure who, Brands explained, were bought to generate an “immediate improvement” in Ancelotti’s squad.
Everton added “one of England’s biggest talents” in 22-year-old Ben Godfrey and, for a training compensation fee of £200,000, brought in explosive young left-back Niels Nkounkou.
Experienced Sweden international goalkeeper Robin Olsen also signed on a season-long loan from Roma on transfer deadline day.
“It was one of the most challenging and difficult transfer windows ever,” said Brands, who joined Everton in June 2018 and was appointed to the Club’s Board seven months later.
“In 2018 we started with a squad of 40 players who represented a value of £311m, an average value of £8.2m per player.
“The current value of our 27 players is more than £456m, an average value of £16.9m per player.
“Since June 2018 we had more than 70 player exits, including loans.
“During the summer 2020 window we spent a little bit more than £60m and saw 15 players leave, for a total of £6.5m.
“In the current squad we have a good balance of experienced players, young players and players with homegrown status.
“The average squad age is just above 26 years old. This is a big difference with the squad of two seasons ago, where the average age was a lot higher.
“On the player development side, we made huge progress with our young players.
“Richarlison, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Mason Holgate, Anthony Gordon, Joao Viriginia and Jarrad Branthwaite… all gave their commitment to new long-term contracts with the Club during the past 12 months.”
Concluding his General Meeting address, Brands added: “I want to thank all our Shareholders, especially our Major Shareholder, Mr Farhad Moshiri, for their incredible support to our club.
“I also want to thank my colleague Board members for their support in my work.
“It’s been an absolute honour to work for this beautiful club for the past two-and-a-half years and I really hope and wish to see you all back at Goodison Park, together with all our fans, as soon as possible.”