Everton manager David Moyes has claimed the Toffees need investment in youth if they are to rebuild the squad to a competitive level.
The Merseyside club have regularly competed at the top end of the table despite Moyes working with a small transfer budget each season, but possess a number of first-team players nearing the ends of their careers.
Moyes feels it is imperative for the club to invest in younger players but is wary of providing a balance that will satisfy the supporter's demands for further top half finishes.
"I do think there is a big rebuilding job to go on at Everton. We have a few players getting near the end – we have a little bit of an ageing team,” Moyes told reporters.
"We have not invested an awful lot over the last five or six years so we have to now be looking to see how we do that, how we get the team moving forward and get some younger players in as well as developing our own.
"That is the hard bit. We have a few players in their 30s and we have to start looking to replace them but supporters also want us to continue playing at the top of the league.
Phil Neville’s imminent departure at the end of his contract will see the club’s squad depth diminish further and Moyes believes the club needs “five or six players” if they are to continue competing in Europe next season.
He continued: "With Phil [Neville] going that is a big piece of the jigsaw which will leave and if we make Europe we are going to have to find a way of bringing in five or six players because of the way your squad is affected.
"It is a tough act for us at the moment because we are trying to get that balance of keeping up at the top end of the league and obviously having to try to change over the age group of players we have.
"It happens at all clubs. It all comes to an end and teams continue to evolve."