LONDON: Everton, as expected, have confirmed the appointment of Roberto Martinez as managerial successor to Manchester United-bound David Moyes – and the former Wigan boss is confident he can retain the club’s players and progress into the Champions League.
The Spaniard, who has signed a four-year contract, left Wigan after leading them to a unique and mixed double of relegation plus FA Cup success and thus also into the Europa League.
Everton chairman Bill Kenwright has said the 39-year-old has promised to lift the club into the top four. To do that Martinez needs to retain players such as midfielder Marouane Fellaini.
The Belgian has a £24m release clause and, like England left-back Leighton Baines, has been linked with a reunion with Moyes at Old Trafford.
Martinez said: “I can’t wait to speak with the players and get to work with them because I feel really excited working with these players.
“It is not persuading anyone. In the game when you are successful – and Everton were clearly successful last season – you will always get good performers who attract interest from other clubs.
“That not only happens here it happens at every football club in the land and abroad so we’re not worried about that.
“What we want is the players that are here feel really appreciated and important for the next project and that is all I am focused on.
“If we get players who can move on that is normal in the game but clearly we need to invest and bring players in which will allow us to start next season with a stronger side than ended the campaign and that is always the aim in any club.”
As for the top four, Martinez added: “It is a bit more of a long-term ambition of the club. Everton have an incredible history and tradition and the work David Moyes has done has laid a platform where, in the next few years, we should be dreaming of getting to the Champions League.
“There are six clubs [both Manchester sides, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool] who are working at a different finance level to the others but I believe with our tools and our genetic make-up in the club we can find a way to compete with those teams.
“That has to be the aim for the future. It doesn’t mean next season, in two seasons’ time – it has to be the dream of every Evertonian. In any club you need to be moved by an ambition and in football if you don’t have dreams you will never achieve anything.”
Kenwright has already promised some financial support for his new manager in the transfer market.
Everton’s chairman said: “I’ll give him a few quid to spend. The others are not for sale. We don’t want them to go, they have worked massively hard for this club.
“I am confident that squad, plus some Roberto signings, will form this club’s squad for next season.”