Earlier today soon after the new home kit for next season was launched, the Portuguese midfielder addressed his first press conference as a full Everton player.
On his decision to choose Everton (over West Ham United) -
“We waited until the end of the season because we didn’t want to talk with games to play. After we finished the last game we started conversations. I was really happy here and everything went really quickly. I’m really glad for that to be here for day one of pre-season.
“I wasn’t wondering about the situation. I didn’t know the offers around me. I just talked with my brother, my best friend, my agent. I told him I preferred to stay here. Everton was the first option.
“It was an easy decision because the fans were with me. I have to thank them. Marco and Marcel gave me confidence.”
More on the fans who have taken him to heart -
“I’m really appreciative of what the fans have done for me. Since the first game they were with me. They helped me a lot. It’s an honour to be here with them.”
On why the transfer seemed to take forever -
“We finished in May. A week later we started conversations. I think it was great because it could be longer with some problems but it wasn’t the case. I think it was good for everybody.
“I didn’t start the first games last season. I was injured. It was hard at the beginning. Then I started feeling better with myself and the game and my team-mates. At the end it was really, really good. I felt really comfortable. I think it was a really good season.”
On his personal goals for the upcoming season -
“It’s a new year. A new chapter and a new challenge. I want to improve.
“The most important thing for me is to be the best professional I can be. I want to improve with big commitment. I want to do better things. The most important thing is to help the team.”
On his difficult times at Barca and how things changed on Merseyside -
“There were ups and downs. I improved a lot. Now I know the game much better than before.
“It was the kind of pressure I was putting myself under. I couldn’t take out that pressure. I wanted more, and more. I probably went for the wrong way. The opportunity at Everton was a new start. People gave me all the confidence.”
On objectives for the coming season and beyond -
“We have our goals and ambitions. We are working step by step. We want to reach the Europa League. It is the main goal.
“We want Europa. We want to go in European competitions. The owners are thinking bigger with the new stadium. They want to improve a lot.”
On overcoming mid-season adversity and Marco Silva’s style -
“We had bad moments in Christmas time. We didn’t turn a lot of points. But we knew our goal and our mindset and the way we wanted to play was real. Marco is really clear with us. He gives us all the confidence to play as we know in our style, Everton style.
“We have clear ideas. We want to play. We want to enjoy with the ball. We hope the fans feel the same. We want to control the game. It is difficult to control every game but we have our style. We press high, have the ball and control the game. We just need to improve that.”
On moving to the new Bramley-Moore stadium -
“Obviously [I want to play there]. We are together. We are a family. We are thinking right.”
On the new kit that was launched today -
“It’s better than the last one. It’s a good improvement. I’m very happy to wear this shirt.”
On signing his fellow loanee from last season, Chelsea’s Kurt Zouma -
“I can’t decide that. Kurt played really well last season. He’s a fantastic player. If Everton want him I will say to buy him also! I would like him here.”
On departing club captain Phil Jagielka -
“It was sad news. He is a really good captain and really important outside the pitch. I talked with him and said thank you for how he treated me. I hope he enjoys his next years.”
On the preseason that started on Monday -
“Tough, as usual, but really important for me. The first or second time I start a pre-season from the beginning. I want to look fit over the next couple of weeks.”