Rafa Benitez explains why Andros Townsend was subbed off in Everton win against Norwich

Rafa Benitez has praised the impact of Andros Townsend and confirmed why he substituted the winger in the second half of Everton’s win over Norwich on Saturday afternoon.

The summer signing was on the scoresheet once again, giving his side the lead from the penalty spot in the first half before Abdoulaye Doucoure’s strike following the interval sealed a 2-0 win for the Blues.

Townsend was substituted before the second goal was scored with the initial feeling that he might have picked up an injury.

However, Benitez confirmed that wasn’t the case.

The manager confirmed: “We were talking about that we needed fresh legs, and who could be more tired.

“At this time, when we were talking about this option, he made a run of 30 metres following a player – so that was the signal that he was exhausted.

“When I asked him at the end, he said he was really tired, so it was the right decision. It’s the way to protect most of your players.”

Townsend has now scored four goals and provided three assists in his time at Everton already since moving to the club in the summer.

Supporters have quickly taken a shine to the winger through his string of quality performances, and Benitez is delighted to see that taking place.

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“I knew Andros from my time at Newcastle, I kept the relationship with him all this time,” the Spaniard added.

“Sometimes I was in contact with him, and I knew I was following him. I was surprised that such a good player and professional was available in the transfer window.

“As soon as we could do something, I was in contact and he was very keen to come. He had a couple of offers but was keen to come here.

“It’s just a confirmation of what I was expecting. A player who can make a difference with his assists, his crosses and also scoring goals now.

“I’m really pleased because he’s the kind of player the fans were expecting.

“Everyone was saying we need this position, right-winger. He is playing in this position but also has the quality to play in the three positions up front.

“I’m really pleased everybody is happy with him.”

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