Ex-Everton Captain Tips Toffees to 'Do a Tottenham' & Gatecrash Top 4 After Successful Summer

Wednesday July 19th, 2017

​Phil Neville has backed Everton to "do a Tottenham" and challenge the elite clubs at the top of the Premier League after their proactive summer transfer business.

The former Toffees captain was quoted in the ​Daily Mail saying that he believed Ronald Koeman's men had all the makings of upsetting the apple cart - much like they did in 2004/05 - and gatecrash the top four in the upcoming campaign.

Koeman has so far splashed out well over £100m on bringing seven players to Goodison Park, including Jordan Pickford, Michael Keane and Wayne Rooney, and Neville stated that the Blues will be a dark horse to watch in 2017/18.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 12: Ronald Koeman, Manager of Everton shows appreciation to the fans after Premier League match between Everton and Watford at Goodison Park on May 12, 2017 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Richard Heathcote/GettyImages

He said: "If the transfer window closed today, Everton have done the best business. They have been very proactive, they have not waited for Lukaku to leave, they have said 'let's get our players in first and take some of the pressure off.

"They have actually signed four or five players, the fans are happy, it softens the blow of Lukaku leaving with knowing full well there are one or two more to come."

Under the tutelage of Mauricio Pochettino, Tottenham have shaken up the top tier of places in England's top flight in the past two seasons, with third and second placed finishes achieved in 15/16 and 16/17 respectively.

With a wealth of new talented recruits at his disposal, on top of the established stars already at Everton, Neville claimed that Koeman could lead the Toffees into a bright new area and pull off a similar feat to their neighbours in the capital.

He continued: "Everton have to look at Tottenham. Four or five years ago, Tottenham and Everton were on similar levels, Tottenham kicked on and Everton didn't but now I think they are well capable of doing a Tottenham - producing a young team with a brilliant manager in Ronald Koeman.

"Everton have bought quality and what is more exciting is the young players breaking through - couple that with Wayne Rooney and it should be good. Everton could be one of the teams to watch this year."

Of the new arrivals this summer, the return of Rooney to his boyhood club has been the most acclaimed. 

The 31-year-old completed a remarkable return to L4 13 years after leaving for Manchester United, and Neville added that the addition of Rooney's experience and ability could prove to be the difference in ending Everton's 22-year wait for silverware.

He said: "He is a winner and will bring that winning mentality to the changing room.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 21: Pundit Phil Neville smiles prior to The Emirates FA Cup Final match between Manchester United and Crystal Palace at Wembley Stadium on May 21, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Mike Hewitt/GettyImages

"What he will also bring, that I experienced a little bit at Everton, is that there is a little bit of fear of what it takes to actually win a trophy.

"Everton haven't won a trophy since 1995 and it was always a noose around my neck when I was captain, it was something I felt really pressured into doing because you are always compared to those captains and the teams that were great - I think Rooney has big enough shoulders to spread that kind of experience in the dressing room."

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