Gareth Barry was shipped out of Manchester City on loan Monday as the Transfer Deadline Day came to a close, but the former England international is still claiming that he will be on a top four club in 2013/14.
The England midfielder believes that Roberto Martinez’s squad are well equipped to push for a top-four Premier League finish after a busy transfer deadline day.
Barry was one of three late signings made by Martinez, arriving on a season’s loan from Manchester City. Striker Romelu Lukaku also joined on loan from Chelsea for the season, while Republic of Ireland midfielder James McCarthy came in from Wigan for £13 million after reports surfaced that Everton initially missed out on both players.
Star midfielder Fellaini was transferred to United as was Victor Anichebe to West Brom for a fee that could rise to £6 million, but Everton did relinquish Leighton Baines and with the loan of Lukaku and the addition of McCarthy have a squad that is still strong going forward this season.
Barry believes that a squad that finished sixth in the Premier League under David Moyes last season can go two places higher under new boss Martinez.
The 32-year-old said to ESPN FC: “There are some fantastic teams out there who have spent a lot of money on improving their squads but, looking at the squad here and the ambitions of the club, there’s no reason why we can’t compete for that fourth spot.
Barry also hinted on Everton’s constant flirting with the European places as a sign that the club could reach those heights with just a little push.
“Over the past decade or so, Everton have always been challenging. They broke into the top four once, and they’ve always been there or thereabouts. That’s why I wanted to come here and help the team improve — certainly this year, and even after that.
“My one target for this season is to improve on last season. Things don’t happen overnight. It’s a new manager, and his ideas may take a bit of time to get across, but it’s been a good start for the club, and I’m sure we can improve on it.”
That hope for top four football and Everton’s potential made the Liverpool based club Barry’s top target as a loan spell was expected on Transfer Deadline Day.
“I was desperate to join Everton. It was a chance to join a great club, and to get more of a chance to play regular football. When you get into that last hour, and there are still a few snags between the two clubs, you do fear the worst, and start to think that you might be going into training with Man City tomorrow. I’m grateful it all went through.
Barry was frozen out of City after manager Roberto Mancini was sacked following City’s failure to defend their EPL title, now at Everton, Barry is hoping that he can return to regular playing time and help guide Everton to a top four finish and the Champions League. Something that would instantly make the Merseyside faithful forget about Fellaini mighty quick.