Everton: Injury blow 'opens opportunity' for £9m Lampard outcast

Everton manager Frank Lampard during Newcastle game

Frank Lampard could give Everton January signing Anwar El Ghazi more opportunities following the season-ending injury to Andros Townsend, says journalist Pete O’Rourke.

Townsend will no longer be available for selection after recently sustaining an anterior cruciate ligament injury, leaving Lampard a man down when it comes to selecting his attack.

Who was Lampard’s preferred option?

Out of Townsend and El Ghazi, Lampard definitely favoured the former before he damaged his ACL in that disappointing 4-0 defeat to Crystal Palace in the FA Cup.

The Englishman has played seven times under his new boss, scoring once in the fourth round of the FA Cup. That being said, he has not been a regular in the Lampard era having made just one league start since Rafael Benitez’s successor arrived in the Goodison Park dugout.

El Ghazi’s fortunes have been much worse, though, with the £9m-rated 26-year-old making just two appearances so far following his loan move from Aston Villa.

It shows that he was lower than Townsend in Lampard’s pecking order and is probably the last winger in his manager’s thinking.

Do Chelsea fans want the impossible?!? Fallout from Ricketts controversy on The Football Terrace

What has O’Rourke said about El Ghazi?

With Townsend now out for the rest of the season, though, O’Rourke thinks El Ghazi could finally be handed a real opportunity by the former Chelsea and Derby County boss.

Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, the insider said: “Injuries open opportunities for other players in the squad who might be down that pecking order, and that’s the way El Ghazi will look at it now.

“He wasn’t getting much of a look in under Frank Lampard, but now with Townsend facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines, El Ghazi might come into more of Frank Lampard’s reckoning.”

What are Everton’s other options?

Everton’s other options include Demarai Gray, Alex Iwobi, Anthony Gordon and Richarlison, meaning El Ghazi still has a lot of work to do if he is to break into this Toffees side.

1 of 15
Dixie Dean painting on Everton wall.jpg

Which year did this famous Everton icon, Dixie Dean, leave?

With Townsend out of the picture, there may indeed be more opportunities for El Ghazi, starting with the trip to West Ham on Sunday. Everton are also having a very poor season, finding themselves just outside of the relegation zone. Considering that, perhaps Lampard needs to do something different and it is time for a fresh introduction.

If not, then it is going to go down as a very underwhelming and outright pointless loan for El Ghazi, who left Villa for more game time after making just four appearances in the Premier League for the Villans this season.

News Now - Sport News