Steven Naismith claims Everton have to aim for Champions League place, but admits his own future is uncertain

Everton Goodison

The Toffees are one of a number of clubs currently in the mix for a spot in Europe next year.

Steven Naismith has told Sky Sports that Everton have to aim for a place in the Champions League next season. However, he has also expressed some doubts to the Liverpool Echo about his own future at Goodison Park.

The Toffees go into the Christmas period ninth in the Premier League, but with it being one of the most congested tables in recent memory, Roberto Martinez's side could certainly not be discounted from the race to play in Europe's premier competition next season. 

The former Rangers forward admitted that the unpredictably of the campaign so far has meant that sides like Everton are looking to break into the top four.

"I think it's got to be an aim at the moment but not one you concentrate on too much. I don't think we're specifically going to say we are aiming for that," he said.

"You've got to just take the games as they come and at the end of every month, you look at it and see where you're at. Everybody has taken points off everybody.

"It's not just an issue of who will win the league but all the European places are up for grabs and there's nobody specific you think is going to run away with it," he added.

Despite the optimism about the club's position, Naismith has also explained that he may be forced to consider his future on Merseyside.

The Echo report that Norwich City had made an £8m bid for the 29-year-old in the summer, only for it to be rejected. Yet, despite Martinez's desire to keep hold of the Scotland international, his first-team opportunities have been severely limited - he has not started a game since October, which was also his last appearance in the league. 

Naismith hinted that he plans to discuss his future with Martinez next month.

"When Norwich were interested in me in the summer, it was the manager who said he didn't want it to happen. But as a player you need to think about all your options," he explained.

"The manager said we'd speak about it again come January time so we'll do that.

"At the moment I'm just concentrating on playing my football as part of a great squad and hopefully if I get my chance to play again, I take it.

"But you've got to weigh up all your options and see where you're at," he added.

Although the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Arouna Kone and Ross Barkley continue to impress for the club, Naismith has proved this season just how valuable he can be. He scored a fantastic hat-trick against Chelsea in September, meaning that it would surely be a big blow to Everton's Champions League aspirations if he departed in January. 

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