David Moyes has spoken to Sky Sports on summer transfers and his pre-season.
“It’s getting more difficult with the speculation you people put out, but we can’t really do much about that.”
He utters the last line with a smile about transfers.
“It’s new; new people to the club,” says Moyes. “I’ve known Mark (Noble) for a long time and have a great relationship with him. I’m still getting to know Tim (Steinden).
“Because of the shortness of the summer and being in Australia, the amount of time we have had together has been limited, but I’m sure we’ll get down to work and do what we have to do.
“The club have made several offers for players. We are out in the market. We are quite active. Hopefully some of them will come off in the future.”
Asked about the challenge of replacing a player of Rice’s calibre Moyes bristles slightly at the question. “You’re trying to suggest that you can’t replace Declan Rice with one player, or any one similar player, so you’re probably right that we need to find a different way.”
“To win a European trophy for the first time in 40 years, you have to have a really good squad and good players. Of course, we need to add to it and improve it, so that’s what we’ll attempt to do.
“But we saw [Paqueta] get better and grow as the season went on, like we did with quite a few players we brought in last year. We didn’t have a great start with them, but their performance grew.
“Ultimately, we bought them to have a big enough squad to compete in the Premier League and compete in Europe. It worked out correctly in the end because we won a big trophy with the players we brought in to do that.
“I think consistency is a good word for what’s needed now, to get them to be more consistent as the season goes on. But I thought towards the end of last season, we started to see that.”
“It continues to improve every season,” he says. “We see different managers come and go. Last year, an awful lot of managers came in and lost their jobs. But over the years I’ve been able to stay around the Premier League for most of my time.
“It’s a great league to work in, but also a difficult and very competitive one.”
Asked whether Divin Mubama be part of this season’s squad. “I think he could, yeah,” he says. “He’s a young centre-forward and it’s a very hard role to play, being a young player, for many different reasons. But we like him a lot. We hope that we can continue to develop him. We’ll get him minutes and get him playing as often as we can. At the minute, he’s doing as well as anybody, so why not?
“But again, this is the time of the season where it’s a bit easier. The pressure isn’t on. The games have got no great meaning to them in pre-season, except you’re getting yourself ready and fit.”