Rafa rates Townsend leadership

26 July 2021 19:18:07 GMTPlus10

Everton manager Rafael Benitez has spoken of the leadership qualities of new signing Andros Townsend.

The Toffees are 5/2 to finish in the top six in the Premier League and 1/3 to finish in the top half of the table.

Townsend signed for Everton last week after spending five years at Crystal Palace, a spell in which he made 168 league appearances, scoring 13 goals.

The 30-year-old began his career at Tottenham Hotspur, turning out 50 times and scoring three goals before moving to Newcastle United, where he scored four goals in 13 appearances.

The winger has also appeared 13 times for England, most recently in 2016, scoring three goals.

Luis Aragones, the Spanish coach, was saying you cannot buy this leadership.

Rafael Benitez

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Benitez became manager of the Everton side after Carlo Ancellotti left to take the Real Madrid job. The Spaniard is reunited with Townsend after they previously worked together at Newcastle United.

Everton get their Premier League campaign underway at home to Southampton on 14th August.

Benitez was speaking about Townsend after Everton beat Colombian side Millonarios 10-9 on penalties in the first game of their pre-season tour to America.

"He's someone who I know from my time at Newcastle," he said. "He's a player with quality. I was checking his fitness stats, too, and he was one of the best players in the Premier League in terms of work-rate."

The Champions League-winning manager went on to describe Townsend's leadership qualities.

He added: "It's another thing we are trying to find - and it's not easy. Luis Aragones, the Spanish coach, was saying you cannot buy this leadership."

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