‘Not a Benitez player’ – Pundit predicts Everton conflict as transfer stalls

Date published: Wednesday 1st September 2021 11:53 - James Holland

James Rodriguez Everton

Former Everton manager Sam Allardyce has given his verdict on a wantaway Toffees star who failed to secure an exit on transfer deadline day.

Everton completed just one signing on Tuesday, with Salomon Rondon arriving from Chinese outfit Dalian Professional on a free transfer. The former Newcastle striker, 31, will provide backup for Rafa Benitez’s first-choice forwards Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison.

He could come in handy over the next few weeks as Calvert-Lewin has picked up a thigh problem, ruling him out of England’s upcoming fixtures.

One Everton player who was heavily linked with a move abroad is James Rodriguez.

Reports suggested he might be taken back to Porto, as part of a swap deal involving Colombia international Luis Diaz.

However, it never came to fruition and Rodriguez now faces the prospect of warming the bench under Benitez.

Allardyce, who was in charge at Goodison Park between November 2017 and May 2018, believes Rodriguez’s presence could spell trouble for the club.

“He wouldn’t be a Rafa-type player. Rodriguez is instinctive, he wants freedom, he doesn’t want to be restricted and he doesn’t want the handcuffs on,” Allardyce told Sky Sports. “He’s just not a Rafa type of player, that’s where the conflicts lie.

James Rodriguez Everton

“[He] loves Carlo [Ancelotti]. He would follow Carlo across the world. He must have been hoping that Carlo tried to take him back to Real Madrid. But that hasn’t happened.

“It’s a big problem with Rafa and their outlay, and a big problem for him.

“The only person, in the end, that will lose will be him. Because who will want him in the end if he doesn’t turn out and give 100 per cent for Everton? It appears that he is sulking somewhat.”

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Rodriguez originally joined the Toffees on a free transfer from Real in September last year. He enjoyed a great start to life in England, scoring three goals and picking up three assists in his first five Premier League appearances.

However, he was affected by groin and calf injuries later on in the campaign. He has never reached his best form since that early spell under Ancelotti.

Everton fans wanted him out before Tuesday’s deadline due to his huge wages. At £90,000 a week, if he does not play, he is a luxury they cannot afford.

It remains to be seen whether Benitez utilises him during the 2021-22 campaign. But given the manager’s strict 4-4-2 formation, which tends to operate without an attacking midfielder, that is unlikely.

Rating last season’s deadline day signings in the Premier League

Everton let Kean return to Turin

Italy wonderkid Moise Kean has been allowed to re-join Juventus, two years after he left the Serie A giants for Goodison Park.

A Bianconeri statement read: “Juventus Football Club announces that it has reached an agreement with Everton for the acquisition, on a temporary basis until 30 June 2023, of the player Moise Kean.

“The agreement provides for the obligation on the part of Juventus to definitively acquire the right to the player upon achieving certain sporting objectives during the 2022-23 season.

“The agreed consideration for the acquisition is €28m [£24m], payable in three financial years. In addition, cumulative bonuses of up to €3m upon the achievement of further objectives.”

READ MORE: Rafa gets his man as Everton complete deadline-day striker deal


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