November 30, 2021

Yakubu Ayegbeni: Everton could qualify for the Champions League in a few seasons time

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The Fifa legend can’t see his old club securing Champions League qualification, claiming a top six finish would be celebrated

Everton’s season will be classed as “great” if they finish in the top six of the 2021-22 Premier League campaign, according to Yakubu Ayegbeni.

A topsy-turvy start to the English elite division campaign has seen the Toffees drop to eighth in the log having garnered 14 points from nine matches played so far.

The omens looked good for the Merseyside outfit when Rafael Benitez’s men settled for a 1-1 draw at Manchester United on October 2 at Old Trafford.

Sadly, they missed the chance to move to the top four following Saturday’s 5-2 home defeat to Watford at Goodison Park.

Benitez’s men were leading 2-1 in the 63rd minute, however, loss of concentration saw them leak four goals with 27 minutes left on the clock – as Joshua King netted a hat-trick.

And the ‘Yak’ who represented Everton between 2007 and 2011, does not see his former club earning a place in the top four – which would see them earn a Champions League berth.

“At this point? No! if we can finish in the top six or top seven, that would be great,” Ayegbeni told Goal.

“When we have teams like Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City, that would be pretty difficult.

“That is possible in a couple of years to come but for now, that’s not possible. If we can finish in the top six, that means we have had a great season.”

Notwithstanding the Toffees’ results in recent time, the former Nigeria international believes Benitez has the wherewithal to anchor the club’s return to the glory days.

“When you look at the way Everton are playing in recent times, they are playing well,” he continued.

“Benitez has brought his experience because he has been in this business for a long period of time with Valencia, Liverpool, Newcastle United and Chelsea

“He is an experienced manager and one of the best in the world. With him, I think he can push these boys to achieve the goals and that would make Evertonians very happy.

“If he can lead the team to finish in the top six, that would be great.”

Everton would be hoping to bounce back from their setback when they take on Wolverhampton Wanderers in their next outing on November 1.