David Moyes, the Everton manager, will ensure there is plenty of "detective work" done on potential transfer targets so that he is able to bring in the right sort of player this summer.
Moyes has spoken in the past about how the character of his injury-ravaged squad has got the club to the FA Cup final and maintained their challenge for fifth place in the Premier League. The loss of key players like Phil Jagielka, Mikel Arteta and Aiyegbeni Yakubu to serious injuries could easily have derailed their season but it appears to have made the remaining players more determined.
"For me it is important you get the correct characters," Moyes said. "Sometimes you have to bring people in who aren't just the exact same because they help enhance the team in the dressing room as well.
"It is not always easy to get all the details about the player's personality. You have to do your homework and find out from the people who are close to them – but you tend to find they say they are great guys and everything is good. You have to do a little bit of delving and detective work to try to find out about them. But footballers are like anyone else. They want to come and play and be part of a team and part of a good set-up.
"I think when they get that they tend to mould together. Anyone who doesn't you can tell becomes a little bit of an outcast and the good ones shove them aside You just have to weigh it up, get it right and get the right people if you can."
In addition to Arteta and Jagielka (both knee) and Yakubu (Achilles) Everton have also been without forward Victor Anichebe (knee) and defender Nuno Valente for much of the season. Even when he gets those players back Moyes knows he must strengthen in the summer if they are to progress again next season.
"When we add the other new ones we want to add to the squad we will be even better because the squad is tight," he added. "We still have to wait to see these boys come back from their serious injuries and see if they are still as good as they were when they went out. Hopefully if they are we can have a real strong squad and that is what we will need now we are back in Europe again because we want to try to do well in all cup competitions."
A bigger squad creates greater competition for places but Moyes said he could handle any resentment that may create. "If players sulked then we would have to do something about it," he said. "Nowadays if you are out of the team then you have to get on with it. Leighton Baines was out the team for a long time and he has progressed no end now he is back in the side."
Injuries have meant Everton have been forced to call on 25 different players in the Premier League so far this season.Reuse content