Everton signed Andros Townsend from Crystal Palace for free this summer. The winger joined the club for a two-year deal. The 30-year-old reunited with Rafael Benitez now after playing with the Spainard at Newcastle. Townsend admits Rafa to be one of main reasons for him joining the Toffees.
Andros Townsend’s first words after joining Everton
“Everton is a massive football club and very ambitious,” Andros Townsend told the Everton TV. “They would admit I’m coming here to be a squad player.
“My job now is to prove I’m good enough to be an important part of this football club.”
Townsend also discussed his maturation as a player, praising the lessons Benitez taught him.
“When you’re young and a winger, you focus solely on when you have the ball at your feet,” said Townsend. “What can you do when you have the ball?
“Rafa tried to get me to work off the ball [at Newcastle], run in behind, come into the pockets, work back defensively.
“Rafa is very experienced, he does a lot of work on the tactical side on the training pitch and leaves no stone unturned.
“More importantly, he’s a great man, a great man-manager, and he’s always talking to you.”
The Toffees also signed Begovic from Bournemouth for a 12-month deal with an option to add another year.
“Everything is in place for us to be successful,” said Begovic, who will provide back-up to Jordan Pickford.
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Andros Townsend was available for free this summer after his contract at Selhurst Park expired at the end of last season. The former England international played for five years for the Eagles. Andros Townsend joined Tottenham Hotspurs academy at the age of eight. He spent the second half of the 2015/16 season on loan from Tottenham at St James’ Park under Benitez and scored four goals in 13 appearances despite Newcastle being relegated from the Premier League. His form saw Palace triggered his £13m release clause at the end of that season, with the midfielder going on to score 16 goals in 185 appearances.
Andros Townsend thanked the Crystal Palace fans and support staff and took it to Instagram and said: “After five amazing years and countless memories, it’s time to say my goodbyes to everyone at Crystal Palace,” Townsend wrote.
“I’d like to say particular thank you to the chairman for bringing me to Selhurst and giving me the opportunity to wear the red and blue, to Sam (Allardyce) and Roy (Hodgson) for their belief in me, and to my teammates for the special moments we enjoyed together on the pitch.
“To the Palace fans. The beating heart of the club. To each and every one of you… thank you. Thank you for all your supports, it’s that support which makes the club and Selhurst Park so special.
“It’s a shame we didn’t get to say goodbye properly, but we’ll be seeing each other soon enough and I’m already looking forward to returning to Selhurst when we meet again.”
Everton finished 10th last season and the new boss will be looking to secure Champions League qualification.