Martinez brushes off talk, gives chances to youth

Everton boss Roberto Martinez is impressed with 19-year-old Brendan Galloway, who could feature against Arsenal tonight.
Everton boss Roberto Martinez is impressed with 19-year-old Brendan Galloway, who could feature against Arsenal tonight. PHOTO: REUTERS

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has dismissed speculation about the club's movements in the transfer market, while at the same time reiterating his faith in his current crop of players.

He refuted a suggestion linking the Toffees to an £8 million (S$17 million) move for Manchester United defender Jonny Evans. He said at yesterday's press conference ahead of tonight's Barclays Asia Trophy final against Arsenal: "No, no... I can tell you there's no truth in that story."

Another question involving a mooted transfer of midfielder James McCarthy, 24, to the likes of Tottenham and Manchester City was also firmly rebutted, with Martinez saying: "There's no story.

"For every Evertonian's peace of mind, James McCarthy is at Everton, an incredible asset for us, very important player. We're going to build the future around him so there's no story to comment on."

Everton also reportedly rejected a £20 million bid for defender John Stones, 21, yesterday.

Martinez also indicated his willingness to place his faith in the club's youth prospects, with a view to the players' greater involvement in the first team next season.

This means fans will likely get to see youngsters such as Brendan Galloway, 19, and fellow defender Tyias Browning, 21, put to the test against Arsenal tonight.

"We've seen Brendan Galloway coming into pre-season as a stronger player and a stronger personality. I've been very impressed," he said, adding he felt "the same" about England youth international Browning's development.

"We get extra pride at the club when a youngster gets given an opportunity and shows that he can add something to the squad.

"It's been nice for him so far, now we need to see how far he can go."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 18, 2015, with the headline 'Martinez brushes off talk, gives chances to youth'. Print Edition | Subscribe