Everton: Bolasie outspoken on club's European chances; hope in pursuit of Napoli attacker
After Everton made themselves their own worst enemies once again at Turf Moor over the weekend, their summer signing Yannick Bolasie has sounded off a warning to his Toffees teammates that they can forget about qualifying for Europe if they continue to replicate the errors that proved their downfall against Burnley.
The Congolese attacker sounded out current Toffee boss Ronald Koeman’s Southampton side as a perfect template for Everton to replicate, after Saints’ sixth place finish last year opened the door to the Europa League.
Dutchman Koeman achieved back-to-back European qualifications with the South Coast club and has set the same high target for his first season with the Toffees.
Bolasie netted his first goal for the club on Saturday, but was to ultimately be left disappointed by Scott Arfield’s late winner, a goal which he says was a scathing reality check as to the challenge of competing for Europe and why they need to make winning games that they dominate a formality.
“Definitely”, Bolasie responded to the Liverpool Echo when they pressed him over whether or not Everton must be winning such games to propel themselves into the top six and European contention.
“Against the top teams we’ll do well against them and if we can nick points off them and then beat teams like Burnley, near the bottom, then you’ll look at the end of the season and you’ll be in sixth position.
“Just like what Southampton did last season and you also build your own confidence doing that.”
“The first goal, the way it’s gone in with a little bit of luck for them, means we’ve gone from being on top to chasing the game,” Bolasie said.
“We get one back and then start going for the win. But they then hit the crossbar late on, the ball falls to him and from then it’s a mountain to climb because there is only four minutes left.”
Everton have found themselves entangled in an unwanted run of five games without a win in all competitions and Bolasie believes that it makes their next match all the more vital if they are to return to winning ways.
“It is only when I came in after the game that I realised it was five games in all competitions without a win so we go into Sunday’s game with West Ham trying to rectify that,” he said.
Elsewhere, there may be some positivity following the weekend for Everton fans regarding the failed pursuit of summer transfer target Manolo Gabbiadini, with the Liverpool Echo reporting that parent club Napoli are considering selling the Italian attacker in January following a match against Crotone this weekend in which he was sent off.
Despite the fact that Napoli went on to claim all three points, the reckoning is that the club’s bosses were so enraged that they may in fact look to cart him off their books as soon as possible. The Echo believes this hasn’t gone down particularly well with the player himself either, and with all the turmoil surrounding him at Stadio San Paolo it may just pave the way for a January move to Merseyside if the Toffees are willing to resume the chase.
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