Everton manager Rafael Benitez has revealed that he was not forced to sign Anwar El Ghazi

Everton manager Rafael Benitez has revealed that Farhad Moshiri did not force him to sign Anwar El Ghazi, who joined the club on loan from Aston Villa.

  • Everton got his third addition when he captured Anwar El Ghazi from Aston Villa
  • Rafael Benitez insists the move will provide cover for injured Alex Iwobi
  • The 26-year-old could make his debut against Norwich on Saturday











Rafael Benitez insists the sudden signing of Anwar El Ghazi was not forced on him by Farhad Moshiri and maintains that the loan will benefit Everton.

Everton’s transfer policy under the Iranian billionaire was chaotic and Ghazi didn’t even appear in Benitez’s recruiting plans for this window until his name was mentioned when Aston Villa opened negotiations over Lucas Digne.

Benitez Moshiri met on Thursday at the club’s Finch Farm training base for lunch, during which they discussed future goals and the direction of a season during which Everton have struggled so hard for shape. It is imperative that they beat Norwich today.

Everton boss Rafael Benitez says he has not been forced to sign winger Anwar El Ghazi

The 26-year-old joined the Blues from Aston Villa on loan until the end of the season

The 26-year-old joined the Blues from Aston Villa on loan until the end of the season

El Ghazi, who will wear the No. 34 jersey at Goodison Park, will cover Alex Iwobi's injury

El Ghazi, who will wear the No. 34 jersey at Goodison Park, will cover Alex Iwobi’s injury

“To be fair, with Covid and injuries as well as (Alex) Iwobi out of here for about a month, it was an opportunity,” Benitez said. If there’s a player on loan, with quality, who wants to come in and wants to prove himself, maybe this is a win-win situation. This was the idea.

I was talking with the player to make sure he’s eager to come, has the desire to do well for us, he’s been very positive and, in the end, I hope he can improve our squad. He has his commitment and wants to come. This, for me, was the main part of the negotiations.

Everton fans remain, at best, ambivalent toward Benitez. The more vocal they want Moshiri to make a change, after a run in which he collected just six points from the last 36. Everything points, though, to the club’s major shareholder holding on to the former Liverpool manager.

“I wouldn’t say it was an encounter,” Benitez said. Mr Moshiri and I would have lunch together and talk about what we’ve done in the transfer window, what we’d like to do, if possible, what we’d like to do in the future, the stadium, things about the future of the club.

It was very positive. Usually it is very positive. Usually any owner speaks to the manager and it was a nice conversation. The main thing for us, for anyone as a manager, is to win games and do well.

Iranian Tovis owner Farhad Moshiri had positive talks with Benitez earlier this week

Iranian Tovis owner Farhad Moshiri had positive talks with Benitez earlier this week

Coach Benitez is an unpopular figure among Everton fans who want him to leave the club

Coach Benitez is an unpopular figure among Everton fans who want him to leave the club

A future, added Benitez, who is confident Dominic Calvert-Lewin is on the cusp of returning to full fitness after a season decimated by injury.

“At the same time we want to win and we have chances to achieve that. They realize, he knows we have key players who are injured and he knows these players will come back and they will need some time. He is very positive in terms of, if we do a good job now, our future will be bright.”

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