In his first media availability since transfer deadline day last week, Rafa Benitez was peppered with questions regarding what Everton did - and did not do - during the just-ended transfer window. In his comments about James Rodriguez he already addressed that there was some interest in the Colombian superstar, but there were a number of other players who had been linked heavily with the Blues too.
Asked about his overall impression of the business that the club were able to conduct, the manager struck a positive note.
“I’m really happy with the players we brought, these are the players we needed and they know what we are looking for. The commitment of these players is very clear for everyone to see.
“For Rondon and all the others, they know what we want, they know what the fans want to see here and how hard we have to work to be sure we can be successful.
“Apart from that, we didn’t spend a lot of money, but we have some good signings. Could it be better? Yes, if you have more money then you can do it but the Financial Fair Play rules are killing us in this window, hopefully the next window will be different.
“I am really pleased because the players that we brought are the players we needed. Maybe we needed more players in some positions, yup, but this is what we could do and we did quite well.
“I was not expecting at the beginning, we thought we could maybe sell some players. We adapted quickly. When I say ‘next window’, hopefully it will be January if necessary. You never know, we have to start thinking now about how to improve the squad.”
One of the positions of desperate need for a number of transfer windows now has been right back, and Benitez was also asked if the Blues were in conversation with Manchester United for midfielder Donny van de Beek.
“van de Beek was a name at the end of the window and it was not easy for us. As you know in the last couple of days the agents they throw a lot of names and he was one of them. A good player for sure, but I don’t think we had too many chances.
“In terms of the right back position, we were looking for different options. I was very clear from day one that if we couldn’t find what we were looking for, Jonjoe Kenny was an option. When we were in the market signing some players I wanted to be sure that we had the back-up and the players that had experience in the Premier League and could perform in the majority of the games.”
Another player the Blues had been linked with was Dwight McNeil of Burnley who Everton host on Monday, with the winger having scored at Goodison last season too.
“McNeil has a good left foot, good deliveries, all their players know each other for a while and they know how how they play so it’s a very dangerous team to play against, but we have confidence and we will try to do well.
“In terms of players, there were too many names in the transfer window, you never know how close you are to sign one of them.
“He [McNeil] will be in the other team [on Monday] and hopefully he has a bad day, but after has a great season.”