Aston Villa

Rafael Benitez reveals that he was not forced by Farhad Moshiri into signing Anwar El-Ghazi

Anwar El-Ghazi, Six Sports

Rafael Benitez has spoken out about the surprise signing of Anwar El-Ghazi from Aston Villa. El-Ghazi was not included in any talks linking him to Everton and the surprise signing has led to some believing that it was not a signing from the manager. Everton’s transfer policy under the Iranian billionaire has struggled a bit at times.

Everton sits 15th on the Premier League table and have struggled a lot than they could have expected. Therefore, they had to utilize this transfer window to at least give a fight in the next season. Alex Iwobi is injured for Everton and Anwar El-Ghazi can fill his shoes at the club.

Everton announced that El-Ghazi has joined the club on loan for the remainder of the season. However, there were no talks linking him until Aston Villa had asked Everton about Lucas Digne. Aston Villa have also signed Philippe Coutinho till the end of the season which explains why they agreed to loan out Anwar El-Ghazi.

Many questioned whether this was a manager’s signing or a club’s signing. Rafael Benitez spoke out on this where he said,

“To be fair, with the Covid situation, with injuries and also (Alex) Iwobi away from here for nearly one month, it was an opportunity,

“If there is a player on loan, with quality, that wants to come and who wants to prove himself, then maybe it is a win-win situation. That was the idea.”

“I was talking with the player to be sure he was keen to come, and he has the desire to do well for us, and he was quite positive, In the end, hopefully he can improve our squad. He has his commitment and wanted to come. That was, for me, the key part of the negotiation.”

What can Anwar El-Ghazi provide Everton?

El-Ghazi is a very similar player to Philippe Coutinho. He likes to play on the left and cut inside and take long shots. He is very good on the ball and can surge into dangerous areas with the ball. Crossing and direct free-kicks are some of his good traits and is also a good finisher.

He does not dive into tackles like a few players currently. El-Ghazi is a proper left-sided player where he likes to cut inside, put in crosses, or take shots from long distances. However, he struggles in holding onto the ball and sometimes lacks the vision to find a better pass. Moreover, he also contributes less to the defense which is crucial nowadays.

He has made 12 appearances for Aston Villa this season and has scored 3 goals and also assisted 3. He takes 1.2 shots per game and is dispossessed only 0.8 times per game (stats via whoscored). These attacking stats can help Everton outscore their opponents and win more matches.

Everton now should make the most of Anwar El-Ghazi while he is at the club. He is a very threatening player to opposition defenses. He can win matches single-handedly on his day. Everton needs to get a few points so that they can say that this was a good enough season. If they finish the season well then they can build onto it for the next season.

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