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Everton's coaching staff has been decimated this summer, as Alan Irvine and Alan Stubbs both left for management jobs with West Brom and Hibernian respectively. The club have now moved to replace them, with former boss Joe Royle returning to the club to help out manager Roberto Martinez with academy and scouting duties, leaving a similar role with Norwich in the process.
"It’s great to be back. Everyone knows how much Everton means to me – it has been in my blood for over 50 years," said Royle. "I admire what Roberto achieved in his debut season and I am really looking forward to working alongside him.
"I made my debut for Everton as a 16-year-old so I understand what it means to be a young player coming through at this football club. I’m looking forward to using my experience to help the players we have here. I was happy with my role at Norwich City and wouldn’t have considered an offer from any other club than Everton. It’s like coming home for me," added the former Manchester City manager.
The youth development aspect has been important for Everton over the past 12 months, with both John Stones and Ross Barkley impressing last season. Now, Martinez wants to find the next young gem during pre-season, and outlined five players who could impress.
"We've got Tyias Browning, Luke Garbutt, John Lundstram, Chris Long and Matthew Kennedy. We've been trying to develop them and they deserve an opportunity," Martinez said. "We want to see how they react in the first team, how close they are to being ready - like Stones and Barkley were last season."
"Last year, [Stones and Barkley] did well in pre-season, showed really high standards and that they were ready so that's going to be the case at Everton. It's exciting to see that young and ambitious talent coming through and we need to see if they are ready to help the team and if they are ready to be a part of it."
The Toffees may be focusing on developing their own young players, but that doesn't seem to have stopped Martinez from looking at players from other clubs. MK Dons youngster Brendan Galloway appears to be close to a move to Goodison Park, and now Martinez has reportedly set his sights on Charlton Athletic's 17-year-old defender Joe Gomez. The England Under 17 international is highly rated at The Valley, but has yet to make a first team appearance for the Addicks.