Ronald Koeman Backs New Boy Davy Klaassen to Adapt to 'High Tempo' Premier League
Everton boss Ronald Koeman has backed his £23.6m summer signing from Ajax to hit the ground running and be able to cope with the rigors of the Premier League.
Reported by the Liverpool Echo, the former Ajax captain has been warned by his manager and fellow Dutchman of how tough English football can be, but has been backed to adapt to life at Goodison Park amongst a host of new signings.
The 24-year-old, who scored 14 goals from midfield in the Eredivisie last season, is widely expected to make his first competitive start for Everton in the club's Europa League third round qualifying match against Ruzomberok.
Swansea City have rejected Everton's second bid for Gylfi Sigurdsson. They believe it was £40m in total. They want £50m— Kaveh Solhekol (@SkyKaveh) July 24, 2017
Koeman has expressed his delight at acquiring the Dutchman's signature, and has praised the midfielder's versatility across the park as the Merseyside club look to replace the goals of the departed Romelu Lukaku.
The former Southampton manager said: "Davy has made this step in his career at the right time.
“He spent four seasons with Ajax and gained experiences in Europe and with the Dutch team.
“He will have to get used to the high tempo we play and it will tougher for him, especially from a physical point of view, but Davy has developed well as a player. He is intelligent and can read the game.”
Everton Football Club to face Ruzomberok in the Europa League— John La lana (@john_johnlaa) July 21, 2017
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Klaassen is expected to play in a midfield three alongside Idrissa Gueye and Morgan Schneiderlin in the qualifier on Thursday night, and Koeman has highlighted the many positions in which the Eredivisie winner can operate in.
Koeman said: "If we play a holding midfielder, Davy must focus on getting place in left or right midfield.
“And if we play an attacking midfielder, he may also vie for the No.10 place.
“One of Davy’s qualities is to pop up in front of goal. I see it as a challenge to make the best use of his capacities.”
As aforementioned, Everton have made an abundance of new signings this summer, such as Wayne Rooney, Sandro Ramirez, Michael Keane and more. Despite the incomings, the departure of 25-goal Lukaku is a significant blow and his goals will need to be replaced.
Koeman has stressed the importance of sharing the goals throughout the team, and has earmarked Klaassen to play a key role in shouldering the burden.
He said: “Last season, Lukaku was our leading scorer with 25 goals but he was about the only one to find the back of the net. Ross Barkley was runner-up with just five goals.
“We must not be dependent on one players but we need three or four player who can each score ten to twelve goals a season. It’s the only way to play a prominent role in the league.”