Between The Lines: Smith’s remarks suggest that Bolasie may not return to Everton when loan expires

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith has praised the recent performance of Yannick Bolasie, which perhaps suggests that the winger will not be returning to Everton when his loan expires at the end of the season.

What did he say?

Smith has been at the helm of Villa Park for almost a month now, which means that he has had enough time to assess his options with regards to player personnel.

Bolasie moved to the Midlands outfit on a temporary deal in the summer and has made nine Championship outings, scoring two goals.

The 29-year-old is yet to complete a full 90 minutes for the Villans, but he impressed Smith in Friday’s 2-0 win over Bolton Wanderers.

According to the Birmingham Mail, Smith has since reflected on Bolasie’s performance and is full of praise.

“I am really pleased with how he’s responded. I thought he was a real threat when he came on against Bolton. He looked powerful. He looked quick. He looked strong. He looked a bag full of tricks. That’s what I remember of him.

“I thought he did that when he came off the bench against QPR, too. It’s pleasing we have someone of that quality who’s getting better and better.”

Marco Silva shouts instructions from the touchline during Arsenal v Everton

Is a permanent Everton exit on the cards?

Smith did not confirm whether the club will sign Bolasie next summer, but his comments suggest that he would be happy to keep the winger in his team.

The Congo international has been on Everton’s books since 2016 when he signed from Crystal Palace.

He started off brightly for the Toffees, but then suffered a huge setback when he picked up a knee injury, which kept him sidelined for a year.

Since then, Bolasie has struggled to earn a regular spot in the lineup, and losing him at the end of the season would not be a huge blow to current Everton manager Marco Silva.

The Portuguese coach is shaping a team and it seems that there is no place for Bolasie, but it remains to be seen whether the winger would be open to joining Villa permanently.