Everton latest news: Rarely-seen £4.5m ace tipped for 'big role' under Rafa Benitez

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Journalist Paul Brown has tipped Everton youngster Anthony Gordon to play a big role under Rafael Benitez this season.

The 20-year-old, valued at £4.5m by Transfermarkt, has only made 11 Premier League starts in his entire Everton career, but has recently become a regular starter for the Toffees.

How has Gordon performed this season?

Despite failing to contribute a single goal or assist in 12 Premier League appearances, Gordon has been continuously picked by Benitez.

In recent weeks, he's starting games on a regular basis, including four of the last five.

According to WhoScored, he's been one of Everton's worst players this season, with an average rating of 6.28, which is 18th in the squad.

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But whilst his offensive numbers don't make for great reading, his defensive work is clearly impressing Benitez. In the victory over Arsenal on Monday night, Gordon made the joint-most tackles (3) and the joint-most interceptions (2), to help the Toffees claim three priceless points.

Even Everton reporter Adam Jones highlighted Gordon's defensive work, backed up by the fact he received a great ovation from the Goodison Park faithful when he was replaced by Alex Iwobi late on.

With Dominic Calvert-Lewin still out injured and Richarlison moving centrally, it's allowed Gordon to play in one of the three attacking positions behind the Brazilian.

And Brown expects the England Under-21 international to remain an important player for the Toffees moving forward.

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ENTER GIVEAWAY

What did Brown say?

He told GIVEMESPORT: "I think because of his quickness and the way he listens and does what the manager tells him, I think he will have a big role to play this season."

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Is Gordon likely to keep his place against Crystal Palace?

Right now, Demarai Gray, Andros Townsend and Richarlison appear guaranteed starters, which leaves just one attacking place up for grabs.

Bar the Liverpool game, when Salomon Rondon started, Gordon has been playing alongside those three above and whilst Benitez could opt to recall the Venezuelan at Selhurst Park, that one final position looks to be the youngsters' shirt to lose.

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Goodison Park - Everton FC

What is the capacity of Goodison Park?

Rondon's presence could be useful in an away game, but he's contributed little since returning to the Premier League, with zero goals or assists. Therefore, Benitez might stick with a winning team, especially after waiting so long for three points, so changing the XI could be seen as risky.

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