Neal Maupay has vowed to repay the “support and love” he has felt from Evertonians by fighting for the shirt in every game, as the summer signing declared his strong belief the Blues will soon get on the winning track.
Maupay’s relentless work-ethic and competitive spirit was on show as made his Everton debut in Saturday’s rip-roaring Merseyside derby draw at Goodison Park.
The Frenchman, making his first Premier League appearance of the season, covered a total distance of 11.1km during the match – the most of any player on the pitch.
Maupay was denied a dream debut goal by an exceptional Allison save midway through the first half, while his excellent cross set up Conor Coady’s 69th-minute strike, which was chalked off by VAR for a marginal offside.
The 26-year-old is convinced he will only improve in the coming weeks and outlined why he believes his style reflects the Club’s values.
“The fans want players who fight for the shirt and for the Club and that’s what I do,” Maupay told evertontv.
“Everton is an amazing club and I’m grateful for the opportunity to be here.
“It’s a shame I couldn’t score on my debut, that I couldn’t give the fans [that moment].
“Physically, it was tough. I’ve played a couple of games pre-season but then I dIdn’t have any minutes so far [in the Premier League].
“But I gave everything and, with my teammates, the way they were fighting throughout the game, I could only give my best.
“We’re trying to build a team and I think we are very close to being the best version of ourselves, in terms of togetherness and fighting spirit.
“We had chances, Davo [Tom Davies] hit the post and I should probably have scored. It’s a shame we could not win the game but, credit to Liverpool, they had chances, too.
“I think it’s a fair point but we need to keep working, keep fighting together and I’m sure we will get some wins.”
On the inspiring atmosphere inside Goodison and the rapturous team bus welcome ahead of the game, Maupay added: “It was a great experience. You can just see how much it means to the fans and how much they love the club.
“For us as players, when you hear these people and how much they love the club, you’ve got to give everything. That’s what we did and that’s what we’ll give the whole season.
“We feel this support and this love, and we will work really hard to make them proud.”
Maupay operated as the focal point of Everton’s attack against Liverpool, flanked by dynamic wingers Demarai Gray and Anthony Gordon.
The striker – who was Brighton & Hove Albion’s top scorer for each of the past three seasons – says he is excited about the prospect of building relationships with the Toffees’ talented forwards.
“For a striker, it’s very good to play among these players,” he said.
“As well as Anthony and Demarai, we’ve got Dwight [McNeil] as well on the wing and Dominic [Calvert-Lewin] will be coming back soon.
“I think that’s what we need. The Premier League is the toughest league in the world and if you want to compete and be successful, you’ve got to have quality.
“I think that’s what we have now at Everton.”