Rafa Benitez hails the leadership of Andros Townsend as Everton boss insists ‘you CANNOT buy this characteristic in John Lewis’ following Toffees’ Florida Cup win against Colombian side Millonarios
Rafa Benitez has praised Everton new boy Andros Townsend’s leadership skillsThe 30-year-old joined the Toffees on a free signing from Crystal Palace Townsend impressed in a 45-minute runout for Everton against Millonarios Benitez said ‘you cannot buy this characteristic on the fifth floor of John Lewis’ REPORT: Asmir Begovic the hero as Everton beat Colombian rivals on penalties
Rafa Benitez hailed Andros Townsend’s leadership as the Everton boss insisted ‘you cannot buy this characteristic on the fifth floor of John Lewis’ following his first match in charge of the Toffees.
New signing Townsend impressed after being given a 45-minute runout against Colombian side Millonarios in the Florida Cup, with fellow newbie Asmir Begovic the hero in a 10-9 penalty shootout win.
The Toffees have strayed from their typical mega-money signings this summer, opting for low-key arrivals with Townsend and Begovic joining, along with Demarai Gray.
Rafa Benitez has hailed Andros Townsend’s leadership skills after his first game in charge
Yet Benitez has stressed that Townsend – a free signing from Crystal Palace – brings qualities beyond his trickery on the flanks, hailing the former England star’s leadership skills.
‘He’s someone who I know from my time at Newcastle,’ he told the club’s official website. ‘He’s a player with quality. I was checking his fitness stats, too, and he was one of the best players in the Premier League in terms of work-rate.
‘We have a player who can give us something more because he has the desire and he’s in a position that the team needed. I think he can do well for us.’
The 30-year-old put in an impressive display in a 45-minute cameo in the Florida Cup
Everton boss Benitez said ‘you cannot buy this leadership on the fifth floor of John Lewis’
Benitez went onto state that such leadership qualities that Townsend demonstrates are not easily found, by using a bizarre analogy involving retail giant John Lewis.
‘It’s another thing we are trying to find – and it’s not easy. Luis Aragones, the Spanish coach, was saying you cannot buy this leadership, this characteristics on the fifth floor of… John Lewis, I will say here – in Spain it’s another shop!
‘It’s true – you try to find these players, you try to create these characteristics and spirit inside. It’s one step in the right direction at the moment and it’s too early but you can see the reaction of the team in the second half, which was quite positive.’
The 61-year-old has controversially taken the Everton job, given his history with Liverpool
Benitez’s arrival has angered some Evertonians, given the Spaniard’s connection with arch rivals Liverpool.
The 61-year-old guided the Reds to Champions League glory in 2005 and once described the Goodison Park side as a ‘small club’. However, Benitez said he was happy to see Toffees fans in attendance to cheer on the side in Orlando.
‘We haven’t had fans for a while but you can see the fans are desperate to see the team on the pitch, support the team and cheer the team in the stadium,’ he added.
‘It’s important that if we keep controlling things as much as we can, and then to make sure we have our fans at Goodison Park to help make the difference.’
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