Carlo Ancelotti wants to develop a home-grown stamp on his Everton team…and recreate his Milan blue-print which took the Italian side to greatness.
The Blues boss knows finances will be tight this summer, with all Premier League clubs hit financially hard by the Coronavirus crisis.
Yet the Italian believes he can copy the building blocks he used at the San Siro to turn his AC Milan side into champions – and deliver eight major trophies in eight seasons, including two Champions League triumph.
To do that, he must develop local talent – and the presence of both Tom Davies and youngster Anthony Gordon in his side in recent matches has shown his willingness to do that.
For Ancelotti, the passion of the home grown players is vital to success: “The sense of belonging is really important for a team. The fact that a player feels something really special when he wears the shirt is very important,” he explained.
“I lived the experience in Milan and Milan built a fantastic team with players from the academy – Baresi, Maldini, Costacurta, Filippo Galli, Evani.
“So we look to players from the academy. It’s not always possible to find players from the academy with a lot of skills and the right qualities. But if you are able to do this, it will be really important for success.”
Everton face Spurs on Monday night in a game hugely important to their hopes of securing the Europa League place next season he says is the aim for the Goodison club in his first season in charge.
Yet he is prepared to use both Liverpool -born Davies and Gordon even in the biggest matches – as he did against Liverpool on the Premier League’s restart – as he looks to stamp a local flavour on his team.
Ancelotti though, insisted he will not select players from the academy merely for the sake of it: “In Milan, we created a really fantastic team with players from the academy and I always look for who is ready to step up from our young sides.
“But I did not pick Anthony because he is a boy from our club. It is my job always to choose the team I think gives us the best chance to win and, for the derby (and against Leicester ), this included Anthony.
“We want local players yes, but we also look to improve the squad with signing players that we really need.”
The Italian boss has his on on several more young players within the club’s ranks, with the likes of exciting teenager Jarrad Branthwaite – who has just signed a new contract with the Blues – and Beni Baningime used on the bench recently.
Brantwaite, like Dominic-Calvert Lewin and Mason Holgate, signed for the club as a teenager, but Baningime has been with Everton since he was nine.
Gordon is the brightest young talent of all, the 19-year-old’s performance against Leicester showing his quality, and Ancelotti believes the midfielder deserves his chance in the Premier League, and has a big future.
“I understand the expectations on him and I gave him the possibility to play and wear the vest, so I give him the chance he deserves,” he explained.
“He really understands the position he is in now. An important player, he has to improve and work hard. With Tom Davies, also, we had two players from our Academy in the team.
“Anthony and Tom have a sense of belonging at the Club and direct connection to our supporters and we want every player to share these feelings.”
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