Premier League • England

Everton transfer twist as Europa League club submits ‘surprise’ late offer for attacker

Andros Townsend and Demarai Gray

Everton have been rocked by a last-minute bid from a Europa League side for Andros Townsend, according to a report.

Townsend joined Everton on a free transfer in summer 2021, following the expiry of his Crystal Palace contract. His move to Goodison Park came about as then manager Rafa Benitez was looking for cheap improvements to his squad.

Everton couldn’t back Benitez with expensive signings due to Financial Fair Play regulations. And the Toffees seemed to find a gem in Townsend.

The winger didn’t arrive on Merseyside with much fanfare, but he got supporters excited by notching three goals and two assists in his first seven Premier League matches for the club last season.

Townsend added to this tally by registering a further four goals and two assists in the FA Cup and Carabao Cup.

However, his impact on the team began to wane from November 2021 onwards. And his starting spot came under threat when Benitez was sacked in January and replaced by Frank Lampard.

Townsend spent the final two months of the 2021-22 campaign in the treatment room after picking up a serious knee injury.

And he is yet to feature this season, putting his long-term Everton future in doubt.

The Englishman is aiming to be back fit this month, though he could end up leaving Everton before he returns to full fitness.

Andros Townsend the subject of transfer approach

According to Sport Witness, who cite Turkish outlet Fanatik, Super Lig club Trabzonspor have made a late move for Townsend to bolster their winger ranks.

While the transfer window for English clubs closed on September 1, Turkish teams have until September 8 (Thursday) to re-shape their squads.

Trabzonspor need a new wide man following Edin Visca’s injury. They initially went after Olympiacos star Georgios Masouras, but he will not be joining.

Instead, Trabzonspor chiefs have set their sights on Townsend, who has won 13 caps for England in his career.

The transfer pursuit has caught Fanatik writers and the club’s fans by ‘surprise’, but the move could end up going through.

Townsend has just one year left on his Everton contract. And it would be wise for Lampard’s team to get a small fee for him now. This would prevent him from leaving on a free transfer next summer.

After all, Lampard has little need for him. He can use Anthony Gordon, Demarai Gray, Alex Iwobi and Dwight McNeil as wingers amid Townsend’s injury.

The report doesn’t reveal how much Trabzonspor’s proposal is worth. It will probably be a small sum that could end up giving Lampard a little transfer kitty boost ready for the January window.

Townsend should consider Trabzonspor offer

Townsend has only ever featured in England before, so he could be enticed by the opportunity to play abroad.

Trabzonspor can also offer European football, unlike Everton. The Turkish outfit are in the Europa League. They will get the campaign underway by travelling to Ferencvaros on Thursday evening.

Another factor for Townsend to consider is the ability to win trophies. This is highly unlikely to happen at Everton, as their aim is to simply get back into the Prem’s top 10 for now.

Trabzonspor, in contrast, won last season’s Turkish league title. They finished on 81 points, eight points ahead of second-placed Fenerbahce.

Andros Townsend could come up against a few familiar faces this year, should his switch to Trabzonspor reach completion.

Dele Alli is on loan at Besiktas from Everton as he aims to get his career back on track. Southampton’s Nathan Redmond, meanwhile, is on the verge of signing with Besiktas.

Meanwhile, Fabrizio Romano has revealed a top-four club tried to sign Richarlison from Everton, prior to his Tottenham switch.