Rafa Benitez explains why Andros Townsend was replaced in Everton’s victory over Norwich.

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Rafa Benitez explains why Andros Townsend was replaced in Everton’s victory over Norwich.

Rafa Benitez has lauded Andros Townsend’s influence and explained why the winger was withdrawn in the second half of Everton’s win against Norwich on Saturday.

The summer signing struck again, this time from the penalty spot to give his side the lead in the first half, while Abdoulaye Doucoure’s goal after the break completed a 2-0 win for the Blues.

Townsend was replaced before the second goal, with the first suspicion that he had sustained an injury.

Benitez, on the other hand, acknowledged that this was not the case.

“We were talking about how we needed new legs, and who could be more tired,” the manager confirmed.

“At the moment, when we were discussing this alternative, he ran 30 meters after a player, which was the signal that he was weary.

“When I asked him at the end, he stated he was exhausted, so I knew it was the right choice. It’s the best strategy to safeguard the majority of your players.”

Townsend has already scored four goals and assisted three times for Everton since joining the club in the summer.

Fans have taken a shine to the winger as a result of his series of excellent performances, and Benitez is thrilled to see this.

“I knew Andros from my time at Newcastle, and we’ve maintained in touch all these years,” the Spaniard continued.

“I was in communication with him at times, and I was aware that I was following him. I was astonished that such a talented and experienced player was available during the transfer window.

“As soon as we were able to do something, I contacted him, and he expressed a strong desire to visit. He had a few options, but he preferred to come here.

“It’s basically a confirmation of my suspicions. With his assists, crosses, and goal scoring, he is now a player who can make a difference.

“I’m overjoyed because he’s exactly the type of player the supporters were hoping for.

“Everyone was saying, right-winger, we need this position.” He is currently playing in this position, although he also has the ability to play in any of the three front positions.

“I’m overjoyed that everyone is satisfied with him.”

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