Martinez plans €25m summer transfer splash
Everton boss also to oversee major training ground revamp
As well as signing players this summer Everton manager Roberto Martinez wants to increase the number of hours players spend in training by building overnight accommodation at their Finch Farm training complex. Photograph: Nigel French/PA Wire
Roberto Martinez’s grand designs for Everton include spending a €25million-plus transfer kitty this summer and a revamp of the club’s training complex.
The Everton manager wants to increase the number of hours players spend in training by building overnight accommodation at Finch Farm.
Signing Romelu Lukaku on a permanent basis from Chelsea and a return to Goodison Park for Jack Rodwell are on Martinez’s transfer agenda, too, although he concedes targets will be influenced by Champions League qualification.
The Everton manager has sold €50 million-worth of players since his arrival from Wigan Athletic – Marouane Fellaini, Nikica Jelavic and Victor Anichebe – and also removed John Heitinga’s lucrative salary from the wage bill.
Almost half has been reinvested on James McCarthy, Arouna Kone and Aiden McGeady and Martinez admits he deliberately did not spend heavily in January to protect this summer’s transfer budget.
It is plans for the Finch Farm training ground that illustrate the manager’s attention to detail and influence throughout the club. Everton moved into the impressive Liverpool City council-owned complex only in 2007 but Martinez believes player-development will improve significantly with new facilities.
“We’ve got money to spend this summer,” the manager said. “Remember we sold £40 million worth of players and we only spent £13m [initially] That money is there to be spent.
“The new TV money won’t make a massive difference on the playing side because we’ve got a lot of things we want to do on the training ground. We want to build accommodation here, have bedrooms on site, put a new pitch in and give the training ground a big lift. I’m going to use the money for that.”
Spending on infrastructure is exempt from Uefa’s financial fair play calculations but Martinez insists Finch Farm, with 10 full-size grass pitches, one full-size synthetic pitch, an indoor pitch and three smaller pitches, does not meet his requirements for the club.
“Every year you need to improve,” he added. “We need bedrooms for the first team and the option to get digs for the young players to stay on site as well. We are two pitches short and we need to have a full-size indoor facility for all the age groups. The facilities here are terrific but the demands every season change.
Asked why he wants players sleeping at Finch Farm, Martinez said: “Because you can work. Young players especially, any player under 24, needs to have the right balance of training and recovery.
“The moment you lose a player to injury and he has to go home to recover and come back, it makes it impossible to get two sessions in. You have to have that base to work if you want to invest in youngsters.
“The 10,000 hours rule [the supposed time required to become expert in any field] is impossible but if you can get a player doing double of what they do the benefits are incredible. Even before games you have to go to a hotel. You don’t create that environment of feeling at home. It is now a must to have bedrooms. Every first-team player should have a bedroom.”
Martinez believes an extra six players will be required should his fifth-placed team secure Champions League or Europa League qualification.
“You can work on a squad of 21 players in the league and for domestic competitions and you need around 27 players plus the keepers for Europe,” he said.
The loan acquisitions of Lukaku, Gareth Barry and the young Spaniard Gerard Deulofeu have worked well for Everton this season. Lukaku will be a priority for Martinez. He has scored 13 goals, including four in the last give matches, to help Everton’s push for Champions League qualification. –