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Andros Townsend propels Everton to statement win

It is no secret that Everton Football Club was strapped for cash in the summer transfer window. The Toffees had the lowest expenditure figure in the Premier League by some margin. While their competition spent anywhere from 16 million to 150 million pounds, Everton shelled out a lowly (by the standards of transfer figures in 2021) £1.8 million.

The 2021-22 Premier League season is still in its infancy, but it seems as though Everton have managed to add players who can contribute positively despite the financial barriers. Demarai Gray has scored in three straight Premier League matches and played extremely well for the Toffees.

So too has Andros Townsend, the other wide player Everton added over the summer. The 30-year-old, who joined after leaving Crystal Palace as a free agent, has been a steady presence through Everton’s first five fixtures. 

Most recently on Monday against Burnley, Townsend contributed with a goal and an assist in a crucial win that saw the Toffees keep pace with the league leaders.

Andros Townsend against Burnley

Assist

After a rough first half, Everton fell behind early in the second frame when Ben Mee opened the scoring for Burnley. The goal seemed to spark the home team into life. 

In the 60th minute, Townsend initiated the Everton response with a nice bit of play on the right wing. His stepovers bought him a yard of space, which he used to provide a perfect delivery into the box.

Michael Keane was waiting in the box and finished the chance with a great header. It was a classic bit of wing play from Townsend. The veteran used his craftiness and crossing ability to create a much needed chance for Everton to pull level. 

Goal

Just five minutes later, Townsend decided that he was not content with one goal involvement. Townsend received the ball near midfield before surging forward and cutting inside to evade a defender. From that point, he unleashed a perfect strike that soared over goalkeeper Nick Pope and found the top corner.

It was a trademark Townsend goal. The winger has a collection of impressive strikes from distance, and this one was right up there with the best of them.

As visually appealing as the goal was, it was also crucial in the context of the game. Townsend’s strike gave Everton a lead that they did not relinquish. With his moment of magic, Townsend secured all three points at home against a tough Burnley side.

Final Thoughts

After the match, Townsend spoke to the Sky Sports Premier League crew. The winger opened his comments by praising the character that Everton showed to come back and get the win. 

Townsend’s arrival has been a big part of the development of that character. The 30-year-old has led by example with his willingness to constantly give his all every time he plays. Since his arrival at the club, Rafael Benítez has placed an emphasis on commitment and intensity from his players. 

This focus from the manager has been evident in the style of play he has implemented. Everton’s direct, decisive attacking play has been refreshing to watch after some of the sluggish performances of a season ago. 

Townsend and Gray may not have broken the bank, but they have been vital to the character and identity shift that has gone on at Everton.

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– Andrew Fasciano (@afasc573)

Featured image courtesy of @Everton.

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