By Beck Pascal

15th Jan, 2022 | 9:30am

Everton boss Rafa Benitez share defining moment in El Ghazi signing

Rafa Benitez has shared the deciding factor in Anwar El Ghazi’s end of season loan deal at Everton. 

The Aston Villa winger penned a deal at Everton on Thursday (January 13) with Lucas Digne going in the opposite direction.

The deal was said to be forced on the Blues boss who have since come out in support of the Toffees business.

“To be fair, with the Covid situation, with injuries and also [Alex] Iwobi away from here for nearly one month [at the Africa Cup of Nations] it was an opportunity.” He said, as per Guardian.

“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 added: “I was talking with the player to be sure he has commitment and wanted to come. That was, for me, the key part of the negotiation.”

Smart business

El Ghazi has come under a lot of unfair criticism since making the move to Merseyside. It is an understandably underwhelming signing, with question marks surrounding the winger’s quality and whether he is good enough to take the Blues to the next level. 

That isn’t the reason why he has been brought in though. The Dutchman hasn’t come in as Everton’s next best thing, he is here to make a struggling squad more robust. You can’t turn that down with players dropping like flies. 

He has good Premier League experience and needs no adjustment time in England meaning he can get stuck in from the off. The 26-year-old actually scored more league goals than Richarlison last season so give him a chance.

It is a very smart piece of business from the Toffees, they get the chance to put him on trial with the ball in their court in terms of what to do with El Ghazi at the end of the deal.

He is an Everton player from now until the end of the season at least so everybody needs to get behind him.

In other Blues news, Vitaliy Mykolenko has opened up on the ‘pressure’ he feels at Everton.