Roberto Martinez has in the last two days revealed big summer plans for Everton Football Club.
The first of these is to spend the money that has been saved over the course of his time on Merseyside to compete in the transfer market. The manager has sold £40m-worth of players since his arrival from Wigan Athletic – Marouane Fellaini, Nikica Jelavic and Victor Anichebe – and also removed John Heitinga’s lucrative salary from the wage bill. Almost half has been reinvested on James McCarthy, Arouna Koné and Aiden McGeady and Martínez admits he deliberately did not spend heavily in January to protect this summer’s transfer budget. It is thought that two of the main targets are the permanent signing of current loanee Romelu Lukaku and a return for Jack Rodwell in Royal Blue.
“We’ve got money to spend this summer,” he said. “Remember we sold £40m worth of players and we only spent £13m [initially]. That money is there to be spent. The new TV money won’t make a massive difference on the playing side because there are other plans for the club.”
Martinez also revealed his strategy when it comes to spending money, which differs to that of the previous regime.
“We’ve got money but I didn’t want to spend it in January. The cash has been here before but in the past they have spent £10m in one window, £6m in another window. What we have done is bring in loan players, short-term players, and used the young players to accumulate money. It is about spending it a little bit at a time or all at once. I prefer to stockpile for the summer. Having to sell players, reduce the wage bill and keep money from other areas to make a big pot is what I’ve been aiming for over the last 10 months.”
“Whether we are in Europe or not will be a big factor in that,” said Martínez, who believes an extra six players will be required should his fifth-placed team secure Champions League or Europa League qualification. “You can work on a squad of 21 players in the league and for domestic competitions and you need around 27 players plus the keepers for Europe,” he said.
The second plan of Martinez is to develop Finch Farm even further. The Spaniard has the grand plan to introduce accommodation into the the training complex and also to add new pitches.
We want to build accommodation here, have bedrooms on site, put a new pitch in and give the training ground a big lift. I’m going to use the money for that.”
“Every year you need to improve,” he added.
“We need bedrooms for the first team and the option to get digs for the young players to stay on site as well. We are two pitches short and we need to have a full-size indoor facility for all the age groups. The facilities here are terrific but the demands every season change and you need to be up to date.
“We have different projects and the cost depends on how much we are going to go into it. They are different projects – one is the bedrooms, one is the new pitches, one is for the youth to have digs. There are different projects that we can do over the next 24 months.”
Martinez was questioned on the need for this development and was clear in his passion and ideologies.
“Because you can work. Young players especially, any player under 24, needs to have the right balance of training and recovery. The moment you lose a player to injury and he has to go home to recover and come back, it makes it impossible to get two sessions in. You have to have that base to work if you want to invest in youngsters.
“The 10,000 hours rule [the supposed time required to become expert in any field] is impossible but if you can get a player doing double of what they do the benefits are incredible. Even before games you have to go to a hotel. You don’t create that environment of feeling at home. It is now a must to have bedrooms. Every first-team player should have a bedroom.”