Everton are reportedly closing in on a move for England winger Andros Townsend. The 30-year-old is available on a free transfer after running down his contract at Crystal Palace.
According to the Daily Mail, Townsend has undergone his medical ahead of a move to Goodison Park.
Everton’s new manager Rafa Benitez is a huge admirer of Townsend, whom he coached during their time together at Newcastle United in 2016.
Andros Townsend is a Premier League veteran. After graduating from Tottenham Hotspur’s academy, the winger made 93 appearances for the north London club in a seven-year spell from 2009-2016. After a brief stint at Newcastle, Townsend joined Crystal Palace in 2016 and has been a mainstay in the Eagles’ side ever since.
The 30-year-old made 185 appearances for Palace in all competitions, scoring 16 goals and providing 28 assists but there is a general consensus his figures could have been a lot better in a slightly more penetrative football setup.
His contract expired at the end of last season.
Is Andros Townsend the perfect addition to Everton’s squad?
Rafa Benitez has made it clear that the players earning more than handsome salaries could be shipped out this summer to trim their wage bill and the Toffees are actively looking for buyers. Reports suggest the likes of James Rodriguez and Fabian Delph are heading the queue in that regard. Richarlison’s name has also cropped up even though Everton will want to retain his services.
Thus, the Toffees’ attempts to bolster their attack and make arrangements for possible exits can be well understood.
Everton lacked out and out wingers last season to provide consistent service to Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Seamus Coleman was often employed as a right-sided midfielder last season and managed just three assists. Townsend’s arrival could certainly solve some of their attacking problems.
The England international is quick, agile and direct. He likes to take on defenders, beat them with his dribbling ability and deliver dangerous crosses for his strikers to attack. Last season, Townsend averaged 1.2 key passes and 1.6 crosses per game. Moreover, he is versatile and can play on either flank.
His arrival will certainly benefit Calvert-Lewin, who thrives on crosses into the box. Andros Townsend will also offer a goal threat of sorts. While his finishing in one-on-one situations leaves a lot to be desired, he is capable of scoring from distance. He is also extremely hard-working off the ball and often tracks back to help out the defence, a quality he has made sure not to lose even with age.
Andros Townsend is 30 and thus not a long-term option for Benitez. But, he could be a useful player in the short run as Everton look to overhaul their squad and push for a top-six finish.