Rangers’ loss is my gain at Everton, says David Moyes as Steven Naismith is unveiled at Goodison
EVERTON manager David Moyes admits they have benefited from the “tragedy” which has befallen Rangers by snapping up Steven Naismith on a free transfer.
The 25-year-old cancelled his contract with the soon-to-be-liquidated Scottish side after refusing to move over to the newco club.
Everton took advantage, getting in ahead of a number of rivals to sign the forward on a four-year contract.But that did not make Moyes feel any better about what was happening in Scottish football.
“It is a tragedy for Rangers. I’m from the city myself, so I know exactly what it means and it is a terrible situation,” said the former Celtic defender. “But it is a situation the players were made aware of and they had to do what they had to do last season.
“Rangers were given the chance to sort out the measures they had to do, but the players have to make their decisions. At the moment Rangers are not even sure what league they are going to play in.
“Any player, I expect, would want to play at the highest level and Steven has executed his right to come and play at the highest level and we are delighted to have him.”
Moyes said what had happened at Rangers should serve as a warning to all clubs and fans, adding that it highlighted that the way Everton conducted their business – often accused by fans of not spending enough money or failing to find new investment – was the right way to do things.
“I couldn’t tell you all the ins and outs, but I am looking at it and thinking isn’t it terrible a club of Rangers’ stature would even be in this position,” Moyes added.
“Sometimes at Everton we get criticised a little bit, but you have to say we make sure the club is always functioning and always running and trying to keep its head above water and we have to do that.”
Newco Rangers chief executive Charles Green has vowed to seek compensation from players like Naismith who refused to make the switch, but Moyes was confident Everton were in a strong position in that regard.
“I think there is a situation which will arise, but I think both clubs will be talking,” added the Scot. “Rangers have to do what is right for their club, but Everton will certainly do what is right for our club.”
Naismith admitted the decision to leave Scotland was tough, and he had received some abuse from fans for it, but ultimately it was the correct one. “It was one of the hardest decisions of my career,” he said. “I spent the best years of my career so far at Rangers and it was a big decision. I’m glad I can move on and work on the football side of things.
“There is going to be disappointment with some fans and some are going to wish me well – and I’ve had both of them. It’s a relatively short career and you have to maximise your opportunities and I think this is the next step for me and the right one.
“Part of my reason for moving on was the uncertainty. Rangers don’t know what league they are playing in. You cannot sit around and wait too long as opportunities bypass you. It was the right time and definitely the right move.”
Naismith said working with his fellow Scot and playing in the Premier League were the two main factors in his move. “My decision to move to Everton was, first of all, that under the manager’s leadership over the last ten years, they have been one of the most successful clubs in terms of growing and the facilities are world class,” said the forward.
“I think last season showed that – finishing seventh in the world’s best league and above your nearest rivals and doing quite well in the cups..
“I have heard a lot from various people who have been in contact with the club over the last few years and there are some great guys in the squad.
“I spoke to Nikica [Jelavic] and David Weir especially. He has been a big part of my career and he told me I would love it. His words mean a lot to me.”
Naismith is confident he can make the step up from the Scottish Premier League to the English version. “It is a quality squad but I am definitely going to get opportunities and it is my goal to take them,” he added.
“The players here will make me a better player. I have confidence in my own ability and am confident I can do it at the highest level and with the help of my team-mates hopefully we can start the season quickly.
“I’m coming to the best league in the world and I need to prove myself and it is a challenge I am definitely up for”
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