Benitez hints at more Everton signings after ‘quality’ El Ghazi deal

Date published: Friday 14th January 2022 12:35 - Dan Butterfield

Everton manager Rafa Benitez

Everton manager Rafa Benitez has hinted that the club could make more signings this season after completing a loan move for Anwar El Ghazi from Aston Villa.

The winger follows full-back’s Nathan Patterson and Vitali Mykolenko in joining the Toffees this January as the club look to improve on a poor first half of the season.

In terms of outgoings, left-back Lucas Digne has left the club in a £25 million move to Steven Gerrard’s Villa side.

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When asked about the departure of Digne, Benitez admitted he had to do what was best for the club.

“The reality is that if you have a player who thinking about leaving and you have an offer, the main thing for me as a manager is it to think about my responsibilities to make decisions for the best for the team and the club and future.

“We bought a couple of young players who are good and hungry.

“I am sure they will be good now and even better in future.

“In the end it is positive for the club when you sell a player who is 29 next year and bring in player who is 22 and in different positions that we needed to balance.”

On the El Ghazi loan deal, Benitez added: “It was part of the deal with Digne when we started the conversations.

“Thinking about the Covid situation, possible injuries and the Africa Cup of Nations, it was the possibility to bring in someone with quality that could give us options.

“The good thing is because it’s a loan with an option so the player has to prove himself.

“So I think it’s a win win situation if he’s doing well then everyone will be happy and I think that is a positive thing.

“We have more quality in the squad and more competition.”

The Spaniard then hinted that the club are looking to further strengthen their squad in this January transfer window.

“We are always hoping to strengthen the squad, we will try and do the best for us.

“The reality is that we balance the books and it will be positive for the future. We will be open to options.

“It’s good we brought in three players and we have to make sure competition allows us to win games.

“We are open minded and if we can bring anyone else who can help the team we are happy to do that.”

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