Marco Silva has backed himself to improve Everton’s central defenders in the way he helped Harry Maguire after failing to land the targets he wanted in the transfer window.
Everton had wanted to sign Kurt Zouma, who enjoyed a successful loan spell last season, but Chelsea would not consider doing business. They also looked at bringing Marcos Rojo in, while another Chelsea youngster – Fikayo Tomori – was considered too.
Silva must go into the season with three centre backs – Michael Keane, Yerry Mina and Mason Holgate – and also has the option of playing new £25million midfielder Jean Philippe Gbamin in that position, but he was not flustered about the situation.
When he managed Hull in 2017, Silva gave a platform to both Maguire, who has just become the world’s most expensive defender, and Andrew Robertson, who is now regarded as one of Europe’s best left-backs. He is confident he can get improvement from Keane, Mina and Holgate, too.
‘I am here to get our team better, to challenge for the big things in the Premier League and the Cups also,’ said Silva, who refused to dwell on Everton’s failed pursuit of Wilfried Zaha. ‘If you look in England, look how many players Hull sold that summer. Robertson, Maguire. It’s my job.
‘When I arrived (at Hull), Maguire didn’t play at all. I can do this because it is the manager’s job to develop players.
‘You can better your team also… I know results are the most important thing. We want results in our football club. But it is so easy to understand what we do.’
Silva, who welcomes Alex Iwobi to his squad next week when the Nigerian’s holiday is over, added: ‘Look at Michael before (we came) and see how Michael is now as a football player. See what happened with Zouma last season. It is the job to do with Mina now.’