Marco Silva insists the experienced players in his squad have a key role to play as he strives to shape a progressive Everton side full of belief.
The Blues brought in seven new signings during the transfer window – Richarlison, Lucas Digne, Joao Virginia, Bernard, Yerry Mina, Andre Gomes and Kurt Zouma – who have a combined average age of just 23.
However, Silva was keen to stress the importance of having a blend of exciting young talents and experienced players in his ranks.
And while 21-year-old Richarlison’s blistering start to his Everton career may have hit the headlines, established players such as Leighton Baines, Seamus Coleman and Idrissa Gana Gueye have also impressed.
“The age [of an individual] is not important for me," said Silva. "Whether you are 18, or 33 or 34, it is not important.
“What makes the difference is your performance and the way you work every day. Then I will make my decisions.
“But you do have to have a balance in the squad. Even if the squad is younger than last season’s we kept a lot of experience, which is important.”
A host of Everton players, including Baines, Michael Keane, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Morgan Schneiderlin, have been effusive in their praise of Silva’s work on the training pitch.
‘Intense but enjoyable’ has been the overriding message, with the boss’s focus on ball work proving particularly popular with the squad.
For his part, Silva has been impressed by how quickly his players have taken on board his ideas and methods as he aims to produce a team “that makes Evertonians proud.”
And he has been encouraged by the vibrant performances his side have produced in their opening two Premier League games.
“They know – and it will get clearer day by day and week by week – what I want,” he said. “What my expectations are for their performance.
"They will start to know and settle into our system and model.
"They are adapting, which is important, and what we have showed so far looks like we are in a good way.”