Everton kept their European football hopes alive on Sunday with a hard-fought 1-0 win over West Ham at the London Stadium.

The Blues know clinching European football could be key as they look to continue their progress under Carlo Ancelotti.

Everton have just four games remaining this season, but as well as plenty happening on the pitch, there is also plenty going on off it.

Whether it be transfers, or their new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock, there has been plenty for Blues fans to talk about over the last few weeks.

And following on from the recent developments, our Everton writer Phil Kirkbride took part in a special Liverpool ECHO Q&A on Tuesday afternoon.

Afternoon Phil and the ECHO team. If we were to qualify for the new European conference tournament, how do you think Carlo would approach it?

Also, have you heard what the clubs plans are for Anthony Gordon for next season? Looks like he had a mixed bag (as most loans are) at Preston.

Phil Kirkbride: Hi Dan. Re: The Europa Conference League, I think we'd attack it as we would any other European competition. I think the club, having worked so hard to get back into Europe, would not want to dismiss it.

Re: Anthony Gordon not 100% at the moment. Still rated very, very highly by those at Goodison Park but the loan at Preston North End didn't work out as planned. I could see another loan but it may depend on signings.

Hi Sean + Phil, how critical do you think it is, or perhaps how is the feeling around the Club, that getting at least Europa League football for next season is to keep some of the more higher profile players happy?

I know Digne has just signed a new deal, but the likes of DCL, Richarlison, Gomes, James etc. Would they stick around for another season of no European football?

Also, do you know what the Club's thinking is/plans are for Iwobi? He's been so hot and cold this season, but is getting maybe 2 great performances out of him per 10 games worth keeping him around for?

PK: I think there's always that concern about us not having Europe and keeping our most important players. But, for example, with Richarlison, Ancelotti has been adamant throughout that he's not for sale.

Although, on the flipside, Everton have done some good business in the transfer market in recent seasons without the pull of Europe so it can work both ways.

Alex Iwobi is such an enigma isn't he. Think we can all recognise his natural talent and this is a player, don't forget, that was brought through at Arsenal by Arsene Wenger.

But if the club adds another winger next season, you find it hard to make a case for when he would start games. But he has shown versatility this season, which is a quality Ancelotti really values.

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Hi Phil, we seem to be lacking goals from midfield this season. I had hoped Doucoure, Sigurdsson and even Richarlison would have scored more.

Even goals from free kicks from Sigurdsson or Digne seem to have subsided in contrast to previous years. Why do you think this is? Do you think this is an area that Carlo has identified as a priority to improve with new signings?

PK: Remarkably, Gylfi Sigurdsson has never scored a free-kick for us!

I think everyone, including the player, expected he would score more from such situations. Abdoulaye Doucoure has got goals in him (is it three this season?) and had he been fit then I fancy he would've scored more.

Re: goals from midfield (continued) I think Andre Gomes is the bigger disappointment for me. Again, he has the quality etc - remember his goal v Wolves?! - but he doesn't make enough of an impact in the opposition box.

Hello friends, I speak to you from Belo Horizonte, Brazil. My question is: Brands' hiring policy is for young and talented players. Why not invest in South American players more effectively? Blue hugs.

PK: Hi! Brands, as he showed with PSV especially, values the South American market, but there are issues over work permits.

It is easier for young players to join a Dutch club from South America than it is a Premier League club. Everton were looking at River Plate's Santiago Sosa in 2018 but it became apparent he would not get a permit.

What's the latest on Bramley-Moore Dock? Last I heard was that the Club had applied for more planning permission for the hydraulic tower. Is that the most recent update we know about?

PK: Hi mate, yes there was a separate application that went in for that work on the hydraulic tower.

The club are awaiting the official, written planning permission from the Council before they begin work. Then, the next step will be to secure funding. The hope is that once the ball starts rolling, momentum will soon be picked up.

One more from me, have you heard anything about Beni Baningime?

I think it's safe to say he won't be playing for us for much longer but this spree of poor loans that he's had just feels really odd from a player who at one point looked to have real potential.

PK: Beni is out on loan with Derby but has, seemingly, struggled for regular game time. Everton are open to offers for Beni who is coming into his final year. Pretty sure they would be keen to offload him this summer.

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Thanks, got one more question, although it's very much a 'how long's a piece of string' type one. What do you think the Summer will hold in terms of transfers?

A lot of the 'deadwood' is due to leave this Summer when their contracts run out, which free up some of our already bloated wage budget. I think we probably need 3 first XI players personally, CB, RW/LW and potentially another top-level FW.

PK: The information we have, at present, is that a right-back and winger are being targeted. Carlo wants to keep Robin Olsen. If not then a goalkeeper will be sought. Theo Walcott, Yannick Bolasie and Muhamed Besic will all leave.

Bernard is still for sale. Jonjoe Kenny too. The big story will be about Moise Kean of course. His departure would leave Everton needing to replace him. Not sure what the plan is for King yet.

Would be a massive shame if we were to let Kean go. I was made up when we got King but he mustn't be doing enough in training. Olsen is decent enough but I think we need to be considering better players personally.

PK: Yeah, I'm of the mind that Kean should stay but I can't see it happening. Josh King is a strange one.

Had a back injury lately, which may have had some impact on his chances, but the assumption is he can't be doing enough in training. But - and this is important - he was always brought in as cover.