Carlo Ancelotti wants to make Everton a UEFA Champions League club. The Italian has lifted the famous trophy three times during his illustrious managerial career, and he's already outlined his desire to take the Toffees to a similar level.
Ancelotti told Evertontv (h/t FourFourTwo): "The goal is there to reach the Champions League or Europa League. Winning honours has to be the dream for this club and for the supporters. I am here to try to do this. Our goal is to be competitive in the Premier League, to be towards the top of the table, to be competitive in Europe."
While Ancelotti urged caution about how long it will take to realise his aim, getting Everton into Europe is still a lofty ambition. The scale of the job in front of him is summed up by the Merseyside club sitting 15th in the Premier League and just four points above the bottom three.
Ancelotti got a first-hand look at how much work needs to be done when he sat in the stands for Saturday's 0-0 draw with Arsenal at Goodison Park. The 60-year-old had only been officially appointed mere hours before kick-off:
Securing Ancelotti's services on a four-and-a-half-year contract is more than a coup for Everton. It's a statement of intent from majority stakeholder Farhad Moshiri about his determination to get the club back up to heights not experienced since the 1980s.
Ancelotti's track record shows he's the right man for the job. Aside from winning a hat-trick of Champions League trophies during spells with AC Milan and Real Madrid, he also won a league and FA Cup double with Chelsea in 2010.
League crowns with Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich are also part of a CV most managers can only dream of boasting, despite his dismissal from Napoli earlier this month:
One doubt about how Ancelotti will transfer his skills to Everton concerns his ability to build a winning team. He's often had the luxury of inheriting elite-level players, including Andrea Pirlo, Cristiano Ronaldo, Angel Di Maria, Frank Lampard and Arjen Robben, during his career.
However, Ancelotti has also shown a shrewd eye for hidden talent and how to deploy it. He changed Pirlo's role from an attacking midfielder to a deep-lying playmaker with the Rossoneri and also acquired a young Marco Verratti for PSG.
There is quality to work with in the Everton ranks, particularly in the form of creators Richarlison, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Bernard. How Ancelotti can fit them into the same formation will be key to his success.
If Ancelotti can motivate key players to consistently perform, Everton will soon become a threat to the European places. The process needs to begin quickly, with a daunting run of fixtures facing the new Toffees boss:
Games against Manchester City and local rivals, league leaders and Champions League holders Liverpool will show Ancelotti the standards he needs to meet. Meanwhile, success in the FA Cup also represents a path to Europe for a man with a rich pedigree in tournament football.
Ancelotti's history gives Everton fans reason to believe the club may soon return to the Champions League for the first time since 2005.