All the latest news, views and transfer rumours from Goodison Park...
Everton's first season under Roberto Martinez was a roaring success, finishing fifth with their highest ever Premier League points total. Now, expectations have risen around Goodison Park, and skipper Phil Jagielka says that the club have set their bar even higher.
"Last season was almost a free hit. Nobody really knew what was going to happen and not many people expected us to perform as well as we did. This season is probably going to be doubly as hard," said Jagielka. "We’ve spent money, we’ve got some good players in and we’ve set the bar higher in terms of our standards. That’s the only way the manager would have it."
Martinez has added Gareth Barry, Muhamed Besic and Romelu Lukaku so far this summer, and now looks poised to snap up Chelsea winger Christian Atsu on loan after an agreement between the two Premier League clubs - and Martinez is looking forward to the Ghanaian's arrival.
"We are really excited and are desperate to welcome him to Finch Farm (training ground) to allow him to feel the Everton way quickly," said Martinez. "He can play on both wings, play through the middle and has appreciation of space. Technically he is very gifted and will fit extremely well. He has the hunger and desire to want to show what he can do in the Premier League and we feel we are ready to give him that opportunity."
Meanwhile, Martinez has lined up a move to sign ex-Chelsea striker Samuel Eto'o. The Cameroonian legend is also in talks with the Toffees' local rivals Liverpool, and whilst his wage demands are believed to be around £135,000, Everton are pushing ahead with a move for the former Barcelona and Inter Milan star.
If Eto'o doesn't arrive, then there will be more expectation placed on returning striker Arouna Kone. The Ivorian has been out since November with a knee injury, manager Martinez - who brought Kone with him from Wigan a year ago - says he will bounce back this season.
"He is not the forgotten man in our eyes," the Spaniard said. "He is a figure that is very much in our plans and he is an understood figure because he has gone through such a horrible time. His appreciation of the players around him is quite impressive for a target-man because you don't normally see that type of appreciation. He is working really, really hard to be himself and show what he can do to help the team."