Everton under Rafa Benitez seem to be making positive steps towards improving their attack, starting with the winger position. The Blues have been linked with a trio of Premier League players in recent days, and have now moved quickly to snap up one of the better free agents available.
Andros Townsend has joined the Toffees on a two-year deal. The 30-year-old was a free agent after being let go by Crystal Palace at the end of his five-year contract with the London side.
He has three goals in 13 international appearances for England as well as having played for the youth sides at all levels. Townsend featured in 185 games for the Eagles, scoring 16 times and getting 28 assists in that time. He has previously played for Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur, having come through the Spurs youth system.
The winger previously played for Benitez for a couple of months late in the 2015-16 season after the Spaniard took over at the Magpies and Townsend was on loan there from Spurs.
Speaking at his signing, Townsend said -
“I think everyone knows what Everton is. It’s a massive football club, it’s very ambitious, a club which has been trying to get back to where it belongs into Europe and beyond.
“I’ll be doing all I can to help the club do that.
“Everton is a massive football club and has big ambitions next season. As the old cliché goes, it was a no-brainer.
“Rafa is very experienced. He does a lot of work on the tactical side on the training pitch, he leaves no stone unturned. But more importantly, he’s a great man, a great man-manager, and he’s always talking to you. I’m sure he will be very successful here.”
Asked what he can bring to the side, Townsend added:
“My strengths are that I can cross a ball with my left or right foot, get balls into the box. I like to score a goal or two. I work hard off the ball, too, which is something I got better at with Rafa.
“My job now is to prove I’m good enough to be an important part of this football club and that’s what I’m working hard in training and in games – and whenever I get the opportunity in pre-season - to prove I’m good enough to be an important player here. That’s what drives me.”
The deal is expected to kick-off a busy week for Everton. Goalkeeper Asmir Begovic is expected join from Bournemouth on a one-year contract, while the Toffees are also believe to be pursuing a move for Bayer Leverkusen winger Demarai Gray.
The squad will then head stateside to take part in the Florida Cup, with games against Millonarios and then Inter Milan or Arsenal scheduled for next week.