Marco Silva and his primarily Portuguese coaching staff communicate in Portuguese when conversing with each other in training. The French-speaking contingent of Morgan Schneiderlin, Idrissa Gueye, Lucas Digne and Kurt Zouma have been gravitating together. Richarlison, Bernard and Yerry Mina barely speak a lick of English. Now the Everton manager wants that all to change.
Speaking to the press ahead of the game today at Southampton, Silva wants that to change and he knows it starts with him.
“Of course, and that applies to me as well because I am still improving my English. I am still learning it all the time. It’s the same for everyone here. We talk about Richarlison but it is something I have already told Bernard and Mina to do. They have to learn English as well.
“Richarlison’s settled in well. He has to learn as much as English as he can and we are pushing him on that because it is important for him and for us. He is doing it but he needs to improve. In terms of settling he is a fantastic professional and a good boy. Everybody likes him and he is enjoying the environment here as well. He performed very well last week but we have to be calm with him. He is a young boy with a big talent but we cannot put all the headlights on Richarlison.”
The manager is well-aware that the new-look squad will take some time to settle in together and learn how each other operate.
“It is important we get together as a group and not only for one lunch or one dinner.
“There are a lot of new faces in the group. Normally we would have done something with the whole group in pre-season but we didn’t finish our squad until the last day. Now we have time we will try to arrange something.
“The only issue they have, and it is an important one, is that they didn’t play one pre-season match (together).
“Bernard’s situation was different to Zouma because he didn’t train with a squad in the summer. Zouma was training every day at Chelsea but without playing in one friendly match. In this moment Zouma looks in a better condition than Bernard. Bernard worked really hard during this week and now it is a question of us giving him more time to be in a better condition.”
Silva also reiterated that there was still a future for Ademola Lookman at the Blues, despite dropping him entirely from the squad last weekend.
“Lookman knows very well why he wasn’t in the squad last week.
“It was a technical decision and he knows very well why. But I can tell you he has trained very well this week and responded how I wanted him to. Even if he’s not really happy he has to be in the future and it is a matter of him fighting for what he wants in his career. In this moment he is our player, I am happy to keep him as our player, and now it is up to him to fight for his position, for a place in the starting eleven and in our squad list as well.”