ROBERTO MARTINEZ added two more FA Cup winners to his squad last night.
And defender Antolin Alcaraz and goalkeeper Joel Robles will instantly set about trying to force their way into the most settled departments of the Blues side.
Tim Howard set a club Premier League record of 210 consecutive Premier League appearances until injury forced him to miss a match for the first time in six years in March – just two games short of Neville Southall’s all-time long playing record – while Phil Jagielka and Sylvain Distin were mainstays of David Moyes’ back-four last season.
But the six feet five inch Robles, who made eight appearances for the Latics last season on loan from Atletico Madrid and kept the talented Ali Al Habsi out of the FA Cup final line-up, and Paraguayan international Alcaraz believe that kind of competition can make them better players.
Robles, 23, cost a small fee and signed a five year deal while the 30-year-old Alcaraz has penned a two-year deal after coming to Goodison on a free transfer.
Alcaraz said: “There are always good players at every club. When you go to a new club you must work hard in training to get the opportunity.
“Competition is always good – the more quality within the team the more you can improve yourself. It’s going to be great, it’s going to be a great time.
“I will try to do my best – that’s the mentality I have had throughout my career. When a footballer changes club – whether it is at the end of his contract or a transfer – it is always like that but the idea is to give my best and try to help the team this season. I will try my best, work hard and we will see what happens.”
Robles flew out with the Blues squad to Austria yesterday and Blues fans could get their first sight of him against Austria Vienna on Sunday.
Alcaraz is a vastly experienced international who played in the 2010 World Cup finals and helped Paraguay to the final of the 2011 Copa America.
His absence for much of last season with a groin injury was cited as one of the contributory factors to Wigan’s relegation.
But he is excited to be joining a club of Everton’s stature.
“It’s my first time here at this big club and I’m enjoying it,” he said at Finch Farm. “My first impressions are what a great club and I really feel enthusiastic for the new challenge in my career. What can I say, I’m looking forward to what is happening in the future.
“In the last three years I have played against Everton and I have played against a very strong team and a strong club.
“They have a lot of quality in the team and strong players. We always said that when we play against Everton we expect a difficult game.
“We talked to a lot of clubs but I was always interested in staying in the Premier League. I like this competition and at this moment in my career I thank Everton for giving me this opportunity to continue in the Premier League.”
Alcaraz is reunited with Roberto Martinez at Goodison, the manager who brought him to England from FC Bruges in 2010.
“I have learned many things with him,” he added.
“He gave me a lot of support when I came here, when I was new in this competition.
“It is totally different and he gave me many lessons on how to adapt to this type of football. Thanks to him I adapted quickly to English football. There are many things I can say thank-you to Roberto for, for my years here in England.
“I know him really well and he knows me very well also. We had a very good relationship in the three years at Wigan and I want to continue that. Nothing is going to change, he is very professional.”