Aston Villa have confirmed that Anwar El Ghazi has joined Everton on loan for the remainder of this season.
The 26-year-old has struggled for playing time at Villa in recent months, and coupled with Philippe Coutinho arriving this week to add further competition, it looked as though the Dutchman was set to fall further down the pecking order.
El Ghazi has contributed three goals and three assists in 12 appearances for Villa in the current campaign, but as per the club’s official statement, he has now joined Everton on a temporary basis until the end of the season.
Ultimately, it’s a deal that works for all parties concerned. El Ghazi will hope to now have a shot at regular playing time at Goodison Park to showcase his quality, while Villa cut the numbers in attack with the likes of Emiliano Buendia and Leon Bailey having arrived last summer.
For Everton, they’re getting a committed player with a lot of quality, and he’ll hope that this fresh start allows him to kick on and solidify his place in Rafa Benitez’s side.
Time will tell if that leads to a permanent switch in the summer, but for now, as with Villa and Coutinho, the hope for both sides will be that there is a short-term boost in the coming months as we look to climb the Premier League table and start to compete for a European qualifying spot.
It’s disappointing in some ways that El Ghazi has moved on, albeit on loan, as the winger has made a key contribution to our progression since joining us in 2018, while he has scored some vital goals in that time too.
However, as noted above, this feels like the right move for him and Villa at this stage, with the latter looking to kick on and give our new recruits the chance to take us to the next level.