Representatives from Everton FC, Stoke City FC and Arsenal FC spoke about their preparations and transfer plans before the start of the BPL 15/16 season during the Barclays Asia Trophy 2015 press conference in Singapore.
Roberto Martinez, Manager of Everton FC, spoke about the transfer market, pre-season preparations and the return from injury of key players.
When asked about the transfer market, Roberto Matinez felt that while many have opinions on the amount of money clubs spend on players (such as Raheem Sterling’s transfer to Manchester City), it was up to the clubs to evaluate the players worth. He went on to add that Everton did not neccesarily need to spend big to compete.
“In order to be the best, you have to look inside your club,” said Martinez.
Club Captain Phil Jagielka echoed the sentiment “There’s a lot of youth. A lot of potential.”
With the likes of Luke Garbutt, John Stones, Ross Barkley and Connor McAleny, Martinez and Jagielka might have a point.
Martinez hopes that Aiden McGeady would be fit for the start of the season along with other returning from lengthy injury layoffs. This too offers an opportunity for the squad. Martinez encourages the competition for position with his squad. It would benefit the development of the young players. However he feels that the custodians like Tim Howard, Leighton Baines, Phil Jagielka and Leon Osman would be the main stay in the first eleven as it would be beneficial for the youth to play alongside them.
With long time custodian Asmir Begovic making the switch to Chelsea FC, you would think that would give Stoke City manager, Mark Hughes, a couple of sleepless nights. However Hughes told the gathered press he had full faith in the ability of Jack Butland and in the experience of new signing, Shay Given.
Hughes (and Stoke) has been very active in the transfer market to bolster the squad for the next season with striker Joselu, Shay Given, Jakob Haugaard, Glen Johnson, Philipp Wollscheid, Marco van Ginkel and newest acquisition from Barcelona, Mosa El Ouriachi joining the club, Stoke have reinforced their squad across the pitch.
And it doesn’t seem like the spending will stop anytime soon with Hughes affirming that he’s still on the lookout for good players.
“We will continue to look to bring in top players right up until the deadline at the end of August,” said Hughes.
Who know’s? Stoke might just be up there in the running for a place in Europe next season.
Arsenal’s manager, Arsene Wenger, spoke about transfer targets, pre-season preparations and what new signing Petr Cech brings to the team.
According to Wenger, the new signing had already made an impact to the squad despite being there for a short time.
To which Per Mertesacker agreed stating, “From day one you feel his presence. Cech communicates well on and off the pitch. We already have a strong structure and with him we feel stronger.”
Wenger also mentioned that he’ll use the Barclays Asia Trophy as an opportunity to give fringe players playing time to influence his decision for next season’s squad.
When asked about signing Arturo Vidal, Wenger said that while he will be looking for possible signings throughout the summer, a big money signing and a “miraculous player who wins you everything” are unlikely.
Everton, Stoke, Arsenal and the Singapore Select XI compete in the seventh Barclays Asia Trophy 2015 on 15 and 18 July – the first time the Premier League and Barclays have brought the Tournament to Singapore.