When Roberto Martinez arrived at Everton he wasn’t secretive in letting people know his aim.
The Spaniard has always been an ambitious manager and his immediate intention of guiding Everton to a top four finish may have been an optimistic one, but it was also a target that they almost achieved.
Everton finished in fifth position after providing competition for the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea for the Champions League spots for much of the season.
What was even more impressive was that they did so with such style. The Toffees had built a solid base under David Moyes’ stewardship, with Moyes taking a rigid and organised approach whilst in charge, but under Martinez they were transformed. The full-backs pushed on, their football was patient but purposeful and they were one of the most entertaining sides to watch in the entire division.
And, whilst showing that Everton are now in a position to do battle with the top clubs in England on the pitch, Martinez is now hoping to compete with them off the pitch.
The Daily Mail report that Everton have joined the hunt with Arsenal, Tottenham and bitter rivals Liverpool to sign Cristian Tello from Barcelona.
Tello has found his first team chances at the Catalan Giants limited and is hoping for a move away from the club which he has spent his entire career at so far.
The pacey winger is thought to be available for £8.5 million and he would be quite a coup for Everton, considering his reputation as one of the hottest talents coming off the reputed La Masia production line in recent times.
Everton may have a trump card to play because of that, too. Whilst Arsenal and Liverpool may be able to offer him Champions League football this season, Martinez can show Tello what he did to help his current Gerard Deulofeu during the previous campaign.
Deulofeu joined Everton on loan from Barca at the beginning of last season and was one of their most exciting players to watch when on the pitch.
Although the talented youngster may not have been a permanent starter for the club, he did receive regular football during his time at Goodison Park and became a fans’ favourite at the same time.
His pace, trickery and creativity was harnessed expertly be Martinez and he clearly has the ability to utilise players who, typically, wouldn’t be considered to have the physicality associated with a player in the Premier League.
Tello now may use that of an example of just how far he can progress at Everton and although the Toffees may not be the highest placed of the clubs interested in him, they may be the best option for the 22-year-old in the long-term.