When Davy Klaassen walked off the pitch at the end of last year’s Europa League final following a 2-0 loss to Manchester United, the 23 year old former Ajax Amsterdam captain may or may not have known it would be his last for the club he had joined at 12 years earlier.
What the new Toffee DID know, however, was that he was hungry for more.
“I played a lot of matches in the competition last season and hopefully I can go that far this season with Everton as well.”
The Dutchman has gotten off to a solid start with the Toffees, showing growing confidence and developing a creative, and productive, partnership with the other (winning) captain in that Europa League final, Wayne Rooney, among others.
Davy is a bit of a link up man, bringing together the defense and the attack, and he has proven to be a foundation which you can build a team upon.
Klaassen knows,however, it all comes down to team chemistry. Having the talent is great, but if you can’t play together it doesn’t matter in the big competitions.
“I think the key is to know each other and to know what the other players are going to do when they’ve got the ball,” the 23-year-old told evertontv. “You have to get that special kind of feeling with each other that you can’t be beaten. That has to grow but I think that’s possible.
Another key factor to his team’s European success, and one that is that is sure to make Toffees fans equal parts nervous and excited?
“You need a lot of players because the season will be long and there will be a lot of matches,” he added. “We had that at Ajax last year, a lot of matches and you can’t have 15 or 16 players - you need 20 or 25.
While Klaassen can certainly speak to the club’s spending, having been brought in the same day as Jordan Pickford EARLY in the summer, Everton fans will also be aware that the team is still a few pieces short of the bodies needed to compete.
Klaassen is sure that his current squad is every bit as ready to take on Europe as his Ajax side was, and his memories drive him forward, as well as paint the picture of a season Everton fans everywhere are dreaming of.
“It was really nice to get to the final. I was at the club from the age of 11 and it was my dream to be captain. I got that and then to reach a European final, no-one expected that at the beginning of the season. “But we had a really good squad, everybody knew how to play, we did well and it was really fun.”
Here’s to hoping Klaassen can bring some of that magic, and fun, to Everton this season.