Morgan Schneiderlin says he is ready to pen a “new chapter” in his Everton career as he prepares to embark on his first full campaign with the Club.
The midfielder made 14 Premier League appearances – 12 from the start – after joining the Blues from Manchester United in a £24million deal during the January transfer window.
The 27-year-old Frenchman was satisfied with his first few months in royal blue – but is determined to improve in 2017/18.
And Schneiderlin, who represented France at the 2016 World Cup, insists he will benefit considerably from getting a full pre-season under his belt with the Toffees.
Asked if there was more to come from him in an Everton shirt, Schneiderlin told evertontv: “That is my target. I want to be the best I can possibly be, to feel good and fresh.
“My first six months was good, I was very happy with it.
“But now it is a new stage, a new chapter. I want to be better and better. I am not 100 per cent yet but it will come and, hopefully, we will have a better season.
“It is very important for a football player to have a good pre-season. Last year I had just 12 days’ holiday and, then, not a good pre-season.
“Now we have had time to prepare. After six weeks, you know you still need a bit of time to get back to your best. But by September and October it will be really beneficial.
“I am really looking forward to having the best season possible and, of course, staying injury-free.”
Everton wrapped up their pre-season campaign by sharing a 2-2 draw with Sevilla on Sunday – 24 days after getting up and running with a victory over Kenyan side Gor Mahia in Tanzania.
Schneiderlin says the team have made strides in the intervening period, but is promising there is plenty more to come.
Talking at Albert Dock, where coaches from Everton in the Community were delivering sessions as part of the Summer Football on the Dock initiative, Schneiderlin said: “You progress physically but you can see we still have work to do.
“There is a lot of change in everything: our passing game, the movements our players are making, the defensive side, the pressing side – we still need to make some improvements.
“And it is good, because it gives us the opportunity to work very hard, every day.
“We can see we are progressing physically but, still, there are a lot of things to do to be able to cope… to be in the top six.”
Schneiderlin is eager for the Premier to get going on Saturday. And when Everton clash with Stoke at Goodison, as many as six players could make their Toffees Premier League bows.
“They are great people outside the football pitch - and very good players on the pitch,” said Schneiderlin.
“We need to get to know each other better every day. That will take time as well but it is very interesting and exciting.
“And I do not think the Club will stop. It will be very interesting to see who they bring in, in the last few weeks of the transfer window – then it will be up to us to do the talking on the pitch and deliver the best performances possible.
“We are really looking forward to it. We have prepared ourselves for the past five weeks to be in the best shape possible for this season.
“We will be as good as we can be to be able to beat Stoke to give us a good start to the season.”
Loads more Everton News HERE REGISTER WITH LOVE EVERTON FORUM HERE Checkout our site map HERE