By Noel Whelan

11th Sep, 2020 | 6:00pm

'Everton fans will be very excited' - Exclusive: Whelan shares big new claim

Noel Whelan claims that a top-ten finish is “the minimum” Everton should be targeting ahead of the new Premier League season.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former top-flight hitman suggests that Carlo Ancelotti should really have his sights set on finishing no lower than eighth after an impressive summer transfer window.

The Toffees have brought in James Rodriguez, Abdoulaye Doucoure, Allan and Niels Nkounkou so far, while the likes of Morgan Schneiderlin and Kieran Dowell have left the club.

Everton finished 12th in the Premier League last season, five points behind 10th-placed Burnley, seven off eighth-placed Arsenal and 10 adrift of Tottenham in sixth.

Whelan believes there is no excuse for the Toffees to be knocking on the door of the European spots and insists anything other than a top-half finish is a failure.

Asked if Everton could break into the top ten this season, Whelan told Football Insider: “I think that is exactly what they should be going for, if not beyond that.

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“I think with the players they’ve brought in over the last couple of seasons the players that they’ve brought in now, absolutely. I think top ten is the minimum for them, I think they’ve got to be pushing for eighth or seventh.

“I think with the additions that Ancelotti’s already brought in, the Everton fans will be very excited.”

Last season’s 12th-place finish was Everton’s lowest top-flight ranking since they ended the 2003/04 campaign sitting 17th in the table.

They kick off the new season with an away trip to Tottenham on Sunday, while they will play host to Salford City in the League Cup on Wednesday.

In other Everton news, the Toffees have been tipped to make yet more signings after their transfer blitz.