Everton are close to completing the signing of former Crystal Palace winger Andros Townsend on a free transfer.
According to Sky Sports, the 30-year-old is closing in on a move to Goodison Park as Rafael Benitez attempts to bolster his first-team squad ahead of the upcoming campaign.
Townsend has been without a team since his contract at Selhurst Park expired at the end of June, bringing an end to his five-year stay in south London.
The former England international and Benitez worked together at Newcastle United in the final few months of the 2015/16 campaign but were unable to prevent the Magpies’ relegation to the Championship.
In June, Townsend told Sky Sports News that Everton were making a good decision by appointing the Spanish tactician as their new boss.
“I played under Rafa at Newcastle, so I know how good of a manager he is,” he said.
“He’s good on the training pitch. He is always trying to work hard, and he’s a good man as well. Good man-manager. So, taking out the rivalry, taking out the Liverpool-Everton. For on-pitch reasons, I think it’s a really good appointment.”
It was recently revealed that Palace had no plans to offer Towsend a new deal, meaning he was free to negotiate a contract elsewhere.
And while he has been a solid performer during his time at Palace, Everton supporters may be concerned at their reported interest in the flying winger.
Townsend scored just 16 goals for the capital club in 185 appearances, providing a further 28 assists for his teammates. Respectable numbers, but not ones that will excite the Toffees’ faithful.
While the Merseyside outfit brought in the likes of James Rodriguez, Allan and Ben Godfrey under former manager Carlo Ancelotti just 12 months ago, the drop-off in talent to Townsend is sizeable.
It’s a transfer that appears to make little sense for Everton. They’ve just got rid of one ageing, rapid, English winger in Theo Walcott, and now they’re replacing him with one who has achieved less throughout his career.
Although the financial impact of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic is forcing clubs to work with a restricted budget, picking up Palace rejects is not the sort of transfer business Everton fans would have been hoping for.