Aston Villa manager Dean Smith has revealed the reason behind Yannick Bolasie’s sudden return to Everton.
The 29-year-old winger joined the Championship side in August 2018 on a season-long loan but cut short his stay with the side this January.
His 21 appearances came mostly as a substitute, scoring twice and contributing four assists to help Villa to the 13th spot in the log.
Smith affirmed that the desire to fight for a place Marco Silva’s team influenced Bolasie's decision to return to Goodison Park.
“I spoke to Yannick after the game on Saturday and again on Sunday, he feels as though he’s a little bit off where he wanted to be,” Smith told club YouTube channel.
“He felt that it was time to go back and try and push his way into the Premier League.
“He probably needed a little bit more sprint work and felt that it was in his best interests to go back to Everton.
“He’s a great lad and he’s created some assists for us but probably didn’t impact the games over 90 minutes as much as he would have liked, and we all would have liked.
“We must remember that he came here after an ACL operation and was looking to regain his fitness, which he’s got now, and he’s building up his body and managing his body to get ready for games.
“We wish him well for the future but we have to move on to our future now.
“He showed periods of the class that he’s got, just not as consistent as he would have liked, hence him ‘recalling’ himself.
“He’s a good lad and I’ll miss him around the place because he was a really good character, but that’s what happens in football.”
Everton take on Millwall in Saturday’s FA Cup tie and Bolasie will make a return in the encounter.