Everton captain Phil Jagielka isn’t worried about the flurry of signings rivals Liverpool have made in the transfer window.
The Reds have been the more active of the two Merseyside clubs in the off-season, bringing in a total of six players, including £29 million (S$62 million) Brazilian Roberto Firmino from Hoffenheim and defender Nathaniel Clyne, a £12.5 million signing from Southampton.
Liverpool are also favoured to land striker Christian Benteke from Aston Villa, after reportedly agreeing to meet his £32.5m release clause.
Meanwhile, it has been a low-key summer for Everton, who have only brought in former Barcelona trainee Gerard Deulofeu for £4.2m and Tom Cleverley on a free transfer thus far.
Yet Jagielka isn’t particularly fussed about the lack of transfer activity and wants his side to let their feet do the talking when the season comes along.
“We obviously saw what happened across Stanley Park and that doesn’t affect us one bit,” said the Everton captain at the Chang Everton Fan Meet, a meet-and-greet session with the Toffees’ faithful at the InterContinental Hotel.
“Many teams are competing for similar positions in the leagues, so there’s no point concentrating on Liverpool or the rest like Manchester United and Arsenal. We’re happy with what the manager (Roberto Martinez) has been doing and the people he is bringing in. It’s just when the time comes, we have to put up a performance to beat them.”
It was a disappointing second season in charge for Martinez as the Toffees finished in the bottom half of the table and were eliminated from the Europa League in the last 16. However Jagielka believes this upcoming 2015-16 season is the time to correct those wrongs.
“The best thing about this squad now is that we have a good mixture of young and experienced players,” said the 32-year-old.
“We all get along really well together, so there are a lot of laughs and jokes which makes training and work a lot more fun. Obviously when you’re winning games, it’s pretty easy to laugh or joke but when things aren’t going too well, it’s important that we still have that camaraderie and togetherness.
“It was proven last season when we did go through a rough patch where we could not see a win coming anywhere. As a unit, we did not perform well which made things for the attacking players a little harder. The fact that we were conceding two-to-three goals per game meant that we often had to score three or four to get anything out of it.
“That’s why we worked things out in the dressing room, spoke eye to eye and stood by each other and got through it. This season we’re looking to start from basics and give the young lads an opportunity to play.”
Photo: Stefanus Ian/FourFourTwo