Andros Townsend and Demarai Gray deals a right step in solving key Everton problem

Rafael Benitez (Photo by STR / AFP) / China OUT (Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)
Rafael Benitez (Photo by STR / AFP) / China OUT (Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images) /

After a dormant start to their transfer window, Everton are closing in on wide options Andros Townsend and Demarai Gray as transfer dealings pick momentum on the blue half of the Merseyside. Everton are set to become Asmir Begovic’s 12th club of his career as the shot-stopper is close to joining the Toffees on a free transfer.

With a backup goalkeeper crossed out of the transfer list, the Toffees have turned their attention to the flanks. Historically, Everton have been culprits of poor wide signings since the Farhad Moshiri takeover. Cuco Martina, Yannick Bolasie, Theo Walcott and many others have come and gone without making much impact in Merseyside.

Richarlison has been the only wide player who can be deemed as successful transfer, playing 119 games and netting 42 goals in the process. The Brazilian’s enigmatic presence has often propelled Everton to success on the pitch.

Bernard is also expected to follow Bolasie and Walcott out of the club. With Richarlison likely to be used in the central striking area, the Toffees are without a natural winger. The deals of Townsend and Gray are a small step to solve a key problem.

Demarai Gray and Andros Townsend can solve a big problem for Everton

Last season, Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton were punished on several occasions for the lack of pace in the attack. The Toffees never had a wide player with breathtaking pace who could send defenders for hot dogs. Ancelotti’s side was often lambasted for their lethargic counter attacks which often fizzled before reaching the climax.

More from Prince Rupert's Tower

Players like James Rodriguez or Gylfi Sigurdsson aren’t going to provide speed threat on the counter. The necessity for a natural winger is now at an all time high. Rafa Benitez’s tenure would have been a nightmare had the club failed to acquire competent wide players.

While Townsend has undergone medical the Gray deal seems to be edging closer. Gray provides pace while Townsend adds much needed depth to the depleted attack. Last season, there were several games where Everton were reduced to bare and bones due to injuries that exposed inadequate squad depth, forcing the Toffees to name U-21 players on the bench.

Gray has enough pace to burn in his tank. Combined with nimble footing and desire to take on defenders, the Englishman can pose threat to opposition defences. On the other hand, Townsend may not possess blistering pace but he offers a creative outlet on the wings.

Last season, Townsend scored 1 goal, provided 5 assists and created seven big chances. In contrast, Bernard and Iwobi together managed two goals, two assists and just three big chances created. Townsend can enhance the service rate to Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison in the middle.

Townsend also works meticulously in helping out the defence. In the 2020-21 season, the 30 year old made 2.73 tackles per game, 2.51 blocks and 1.81 interceptions per game, putting him in top 1% of forwards in Europe’s top five leagues. (stats via FBref)

Everton are trying to make smart signings this summer to solve the existing issues in the team. Begovic and Townsend would arrive on free transfers meanwhile Gray’s release clause stands at £1.7 million. While these might not be high profile signings that could magically help Everton achieve European qualification, they could be enough to solve the issues regarding squad depth. Once certain player sales are made, the Toffees may look to bring a big name at Goodison Park.

Next. Everton in for Leverkusen winger.. but not the one we wanted. dark

Are Andros Townsend and Demarai Gray the right players for Everton?