By Noel Whelan

15th Jan, 2022 | 12:00pm

Everton set for dressing room 'boost' after 'very strange' El Ghazi news - pundit

Noel Whelan has suggested Anwar El-Ghazi’s arrival from Aston Villa could give the rest of the Everton squad a “confidence boost”.

However, the former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, admitted it was “strange” to see Rafael Benitez sign another winger this month.

Everton confirmed on Thursday (13 January) that El Ghazi, 26, had joined on loan from Villa until the end of the season.

He joins Demarai Gray, Andros Townsend, Richarlison, Alex Iwobi and Anthony Gordon as the wingers at Benitez’s disposal.

Whelan questioned whether El Ghazi would get enough game time with the other players already at Goodison Park.

Discussing Everton’s vast array of wide options, Whelan told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “Those was my thoughts exactly. It’s a very strange one.

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“They seem heavy loaded out there on the wings with players. Yes, I know they’ve had some injuries and I know they’ve been down to the bare bones at times.

“But saying that, with that amount of players that you have, he does love a wide player, doesn’t he? The first thing he did when he went in was bring two wide players on free contracts.

“One on a free contract and one very, very low-budget signing who’s been their standout player for the season. So yes, there’s competition for places.

“Is he going to take anyone else’s position right now? I’m not sure. It could just be to breed a bit of confidence to boost the players.

“Time will tell to see how he fits in and if he’s going to get enough game time.

“It gives him an option. The player seems happy enough to move there. He wasn’t in the plans of Steven Gerrard. A manager wants him because he’s gone out there and brought him in on loan.

El Ghazi scored three goals in 12 appearances across all competitions for Villa this season.

He has netted 15 times in 71 Premier League games so far.

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