Everton striker Cenk Tosun believes claiming a place in the Premier League’s top six is a realistic aim for this season.
Marco Silva’s men occupy sixth place at present, aided by Manchester United’s underwhelming form.
That fracture in the established “big six” is something Tosun hopes Everton can capitalise on as they face up to the stern test of Sunday’s Merseyside derby against Liverpool at Anfield.
“I see Everton as the first club that comes after the top six,” he told DAZN.
“We have to be in Europe every season. Last year we couldn’t manage that and finished eighth. We didn’t have the best season, especially the first part.
“This season we have a really good team, a lot of good players have been brought in. I believe what our fans and chairman deserve is Everton to be competing in Europe.
“The first six, seven in the table would be a realistic goal.”
Tosun is a fan of Everton’s newly expansive style under Silva, even though it has consigned him to bench duty in the Premier League over the past couple of months.
Nevertheless, he remains indebted to Sam Allardyce, who brought him to the Premier League in January before leaving Goodison Park at the end of last season.
“Sam Allardyce is a coach with immense experience. He’s managed for quite some time in England with different teams. Personally, I liked him very much. He was the one who wanted and brought me here.
“He watched me a lot of times when I was playing at Besiktas, he told me that. He also insisted for me to be transferred to Everton.
“So, he gave me the confidence to come here and that was the reason why I chose Everton in the first place.
“During Sam Allardyce’s management, we were set up a little bit more defensively. There were a lot of long balls and gaining second balls to counter-attack had a vast importance.
“With Marco Silva we have a more offensive set-up. No matter who the opposition is we press high in the final third and midfield.”
Tosun’s time at Besiktas means he is well-versed in fierce local rivalries and he is relishing the short trip across Stanley Park to face Jurgen Klopp’s title-chasing side this weekend.
“It’s a wonderful derby to be a part of. One of the biggest derbies in the world,” he said.
“I’ve taken part in many derbies when I was in Turkey and also played in the Merseyside derby. In both instances life stops in the city for a day.
“There was a special atmosphere on derby day in Istanbul when we played against Galatasaray or Fenerbahce and I can say the same for Liverpool.
“When you walk on the streets on a derby day, you’ll see red and blue everywhere. It’s a special day for us.”
Tosun added: “In Turkey sometimes we forget that this is a sport. In some derbies there are quite ugly scenes on and outside of the pitch.
“Here, it’s not like that. Liverpool and Everton fans can watch a game sitting next to each other.”