‘I have been playing football with a smile’ – Everton’s Yannick Bolasie enjoying Anderlecht stay

Yannick Bolasie - Anderlecht
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The Congo DR international joined the Purple and White in January after abruptly ending his contract with Aston Villa

On-loan Everton striker Yannick Bolasie is enjoying his stay with Belgian First Division A side Anderlecht.

The attacker ended his season-long loan deal abruptly with Aston Villa in January in an attempt to fight for a first-team action at the Goodison Park after regaining his fitness with the Championship side following a year on the sideline due to a serious knee injury.

On return to the Merseyside, he was told by the Toffees boss Marco Silva to look for a new club before the transfer window closes as he remains surplus to requirement.

After seeking the advice of his ex-teammate and Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku, the 29-year-old opted to join the Purple and White and has been impressive, scoring four goals in seven league games to inspire Fred Rutten’s men into the season-ending play-offs.

And the former Crystal Palace man who is hoping to lift his first career title with the Constant Vanden Stock Stadium outfit is delighted with his bold move to the Belgian side.

“I have been playing football with a smile and I think that is showing on the field,” Bolasie told Mirror.

“I definitely made the right decision coming over but it helps when you are scoring goals. It was a bold move and a different challenge but it has worked out well for me so far.

“Rom [Lukaku] had a part to play as well. When I asked him about it, he said ‘Yeah, that is a good fit’ because he knows what type of person I am. He knew I could play attacking football with some very decent technical players at a big club in Belgium.

“Now there are 10 cup finals left –if we win the league it would be my first title. That would cap a really good start to 2019.”

Bolasie, comparing the Premier League with football in Belgium, the striker opines that the English topflight is full of speed and more physical.

However, on the technical aspect of the game, he believes the Belgian elite division is one to be reckoned with and explained how Anderlecht’s manager Fred ­Rutten has been helping him to improve on his performance.

“I have played most of my career in England, where my pace and power has been used naturally," he continued.

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“Nothing can really compare to the Premier League in terms of the speed and physical side of the game but technically and tactically it has been good here.

“It is different and I am getting little tips on what I can do better. It has been eye-opening. The gaffer is a really good coach who has worked at big clubs in Europe. I get the feeling that when he is ­giving me tips, it is helping my game.”

Bolasie will hope continue his impressive showing when Anderlecht visit Genk in their next league game on Saturday.