Everton host Liverpool tomorrow in the latest edition of the Merseyside Derby, but with the summer transfer window closing last night, all the questions right now centre around the club’s transfer activity and latest two signings, Idrissa Gueye making a return to the Blues and local-born youngster James Garner joining from Manchester United on deadline day.
Speaking during his pre-match press conference, Frank Lampard started off with his comments on the transfer window overall.
“I’m very pleased, and pleased the window has shut! It’s something that’s spun a long way into the season, probably complicated things for a lot of clubs.
“We were very strategic in the way we approached it from a long time ago. I’m talking about a club that’s joined up from owner, to chairman, to Board, to myself, to Kevin [Thelwell] - what do we want to improve, how could we, and hopefully that reflects in the squad we get now.
“When I look at the squad I’m happy and now it’s time to get our heads down and work.”
On the two deadline day midfield signings, Lampard added -
“Gana Gueye is a player for the ‘now’, the club knows him very well, he knows the club. He’s a deeper-lying midfielder, a #6, but also #8 which is what he’s been doing at PSG a lot. Gives me a great option, has great experience, a different profile of player to what we’ve got. Really pleased with that one.
“James Garner on the flip side is a young player with lots of energy, lots of quality and will improve with us and improve us.
“It’s a good example of us trying to move forward in a sensible direction to improve the core of the team in the midfield, get some energy in there as well as quality Now we’ve got some good competition in there and that’s important for the course of a long season.”
There has been frustration among the fanbase with no new forward options brought in yesterday, but Lampard was adamant Thelwell and he have a plan.
“We’ve got Dominic Calvert-Lewin back in training next week, we’ve got Neal Maupay who we’ve brought in and has not played a game yet, we’ve got Salomon Rondon as a centre forward. We’ve got our wingers and different options on both sides. We’ve got Alex Iwobi who can play pretty much any position on the pitch actually.
“We had to be careful here, to not bring someone in for the sake of bringing them in. It’s a short period until the window opens again because of the World Cup.
“I’m very happy with what we’ve got, the squad is strong. I don’t think there are many teams in the Premier League that play one upfront have 3.. 4.. 5.. they don’t stack up strikers, it’s not easy to manage at the same time.
“We’re always looking, can we improve and how it will improve us on a broad scale - does it help the squad? Is the player going to develop? Are they going to make an impact now? So we took a considered view on it and I’m happy.”