Gareth Barry has stated his belief that Everton can push for a Champions League place this year.
The English midfielder joined Everton from big spenders Manchester City in a season-long loan deal, on a hectic deadline day for the Merseyside club.
On the same day, Everton lost midfielder Marouane Fellaini to Manchester United in a £27.5million deal, but reinforcements were brought in the form of Romelu Lukaku joining on loan and James McCarthy arriving from Wigan in a £13million switch.
Everton did very well in terms of business this summer, as they bought reinforcements to fill the void of Fellaini as well as signing a prolific goalscorer on loan. Everton fans should look forward to an exciting season.
Toffees supporters can also take heart from loanee signing Barry's comments regarding his new team's ambitions. The 32-year-old believes Everton have the potential to do well this year. When asked about whether or not Everton could compete for a top four finish, the England international replied:
"There are some fantastic teams out there who have spent a lot of money on improving their squads. But looking at the squad here and the ambitions of the club, there’s no reason why we can’t compete for that fourth spot.
“Over the past decade or so, Everton have always been challenging. They broke into the top four once, and they’ve always been there or thereabouts. That’s why I wanted to come here and help the team improve – certainly this year, and even after that.
“My one target for this season is to improve on last season. Things don’t happen overnight. It’s a new manager, and his ideas may take a bit of time to get across. But it’s been a good start for the club, and I’m sure we can improve on it.”
So, could Everton be the underdogs for a top four finish this season? They face stiff competition from the likes of Tottenham, Arsenal and Liverpool, but will be looking to make in-roads during Roberto Martinez's first year in charge.
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