Ever­ton do not need big re­build, claims Ancelotti

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport Premier League - By Chris Bas­combe

Carlo Ancelotti says he has the green light to in­vest in his Ever­ton squad, but does not be­lieve big changes are re­quired to chal­lenge for the top four.

Af­ter a promis­ing start to his Good­i­son reign, Mon­day’s in­sipid de­feat at Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur was a re­al­ity check and the Ital­ian did not dis­guise his dis­ap­point­ment with what he de­scribed a “lack of spirit and in­ten­sity” at Spurs.

De­spite the fi­nan­cial im­pact of Covid-19, Ancelotti says his board will back him to freshen up the squad this sum­mer, although he be­lieves there is a foun­da­tion in place.

“The base is al­ready there – we have a lot of young play­ers, with a lot of qual­ity,” he said. “We don’t need [play­ers] for the fu­ture. I think we are go­ing to im­prove the squad, but with­out a lot of changes.”

Asked about a name that has cropped up reg­u­larly – James Ro­driguez,

who fol­lowed Ancelotti from Real Madrid to Bay­ern Mu­nich on loan – he sought to tem­per ex­pec­ta­tions as to which mar­ket Ever­ton would be op­er­at­ing in.

“He fol­lowed me as a ru­mour to Napoli and now he is fol­low­ing me as a ru­mour to Ever­ton,” Ancelotti said. “I like him a lot, but I think he will still be a Real Madrid player.”

Ever­ton face Southamp­ton tonight aware they can af­ford no more slips if they are to re­tain Euro­pean qual­i­fy­ing hopes.

“We can im­prove the men­tal­ity of the squad to com­pete bet­ter with the top six teams in the Pre­mier League,” Ancelotti said. “I am sat­is­fied with my team, but some games showed us where we can im­prove.”

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