Rafa Benitez praises Andros Townsend’s leadership as Everton boss insists ‘you CANNOT buy this attribute in John Lewis’ after Toffees’ Florida Cup win against Colombian Millonarios
- Rafa Benitez praised Everton’s leadership skills, new kid Andros Townsend
- The 30-year-old joined the Toffees on a free signing from Crystal Palace
- Townsend impressed in a 45-minute run for Everton against Millonarios
- Benitez said ‘you can’t buy this feature on John Lewis’ fifth floor’
- REPORT: Asmir Begovic the hero as Everton beat Colombian rivals on penalties
Rafa Benitez praised Andros Townsend’s leadership when the Everton boss insisted that ‘you can’t buy this attribute on John Lewis’ fifth floor’ after his first game as Toffees leader.
New hire Townsend impressed after a 45-minute runout against Colombian Millonarios in the Florida Cup, starring fellow newbie Asmir Begovic in a 10-9 penalty shootout win.
The Toffees have strayed from their typical mega-money purchases this summer, opting for low-key arrivals with Townsend and Begovic, along with Demarai Gray.
Rafa Benitez praised Andros Townsend’s leadership skills after his first game in charge
Still, Benitez has emphasized that Townsend – a free signing from Crystal Palace – brings qualities beyond his deception on the flanks, and praised the former England star’s leadership qualities.
“He’s someone I know from my time at Newcastle,” he told the club official website. “He is a quality player. I also checked his fitness stats 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 a little more because he has the desire and he is in a position that the team needed. I think he can do a good job for us.”
The 30-year-old put on an impressive show in a 45-minute cameo in the Florida Cup
Everton boss Benitez said: ‘You can’t buy this fifth floor leadership from John Lewis’
Benitez argued that such leadership qualities that Townsend demonstrates are not easy to find, using a bizarre analogy involving retail giant John Lewis.
“It’s something else we’re trying to find — and it’s not easy. Luis Aragones, the Spanish coach, said you see this leadership, these features on the fifth floor of… John Lewis, I’ll say here – in Spain it’s a different shop!
“It’s true – you try to find these players, you try to create these characteristics and the spirit within. It’s a 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 on the job at Everton, given his past at Liverpool
The arrival of Benitez has outraged some Evertonians, given the Spaniard’s connection to arch-rival Liverpool.
The 61-year-old led the Reds to Champions League glory in 2005 and once described Goodison Park as a ‘small club’. However, Benitez said he was happy to have Toffees fans on hand 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 for the team in the stadium,” he added.
“It’s important that if we keep things under control as best we can, and then make sure we have our fans at Goodison Park to make a difference.”