Marco Silva has insisted that Everton's strength of resolve in keeping hold of Ademola Lookman this summer has shown that the club will not be bullied in the transfer market.
Friday’s international transfer deadline came and passed with Lookman staying put at Goodison Park despite bids of up to £25m from Bundesliga side RB Leipzig, who the young forward joined briefly on loan last season.
The 20-year-old was a hit on loan at Leipzig last season, scoring five goals from 11 appearances, but Everton boss Silva stood strong on his position and has instead challenged Lookman to earn a place in his own side.
Quoted by the Mirror ahead of Saturday’s clash with Huddersfield, Silva claimed the club will not be selling their best players whilst he is at the helm. Everton have struggled to hold onto their best talent in the past with the club unable to compete with Europe’s elite.
Romelu Lukaku, Ross Barkley and John Stones are just a few examples of Everton stars who have been lured away in recent seasons by title-chasing sides, but Silva insisted he will not be bullied by bigger clubs.
“We have to be strong and keep our idea what we want," he said. "It is not just Lookman, it is all of them. We have to keep the players we believe we can develop and help our squad.
“It is really hard for us to buy players and the other clubs, they have to understand that they have to respect the value of players. I am not talking just about Lookman.”
The recent £35m arrival of Richarlison has seemingly pushed Lookman further down the pecking order after the Brazilian was an instant hit on Merseyside - although the summer signing will miss the next few games after picking up a red card for a headbutt last time out.
Silva admitted that Lookman could quickly get his chance to impress as he would make an ideal replacement for the winger in the short term. He went on to offer no assurances to the player on a long-term basis though, claiming he will select his best players and encouraging Lookman to challenge for a starting spot.
“I don’t do promises to nobody,” Silva said. “First they know and they understand that if we keep them it is because we believe in the quality and that he can help us. But from us about whether they play, They have to prove day by day they can play.”