Saturday, December 3, 2022

Everton Lock Horns With Manchester United In Battle For Real Madrid Ace: Right Choice For Ancelotti?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

According to Friday’s print edition of Sport (transcripted and translated by Sport Witness), Everton have locked horns with Manchester United in the battle to secure the signature of Real Madrid playmaker James Rodriguez this summer. The same source has also stated that Los Blancos are eager to cash in on their prized asset as they are hoping to raise funds for incoming transfers which could open the door for the Toffees to land him during the summer transfer window.

Rodriguez’s Mounting Frustrations At The Santiago Bernabeu Stadium

The Colombian international has endured a frustrating season after sustaining several injuries which have hampered his progress at the Spanish capital so far. He has made 13 appearances for the Madrid giants this term, scoring one goal and providing two assists across all fronts which sheds light on his diminishing influence in the final third.

Rodriguez has averaged 1.3 shots, 2.0 key passes, 0.9 crosses and 2.4 long balls per game in La Liga this season (stats via whoscored). His numbers prove that he has still got what it takes to be a creative asset in the opposition half. However, the Colombian has often struggled to find the end-product going forward, which explains why Los Blancos are trying to part ways with him this summer.

The 28-year-old is a vastly experienced campaigner at the international stage after earning 76 senior caps for the Colombian national team while netting 22 goals for his country in the process. If Rodriguez can make a positive comeback from his recent injury scares and find some form at the highest level then he will be a nailed-on starter for Colombia in next year’s Copa America following the competition’s postponement because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Everton lock horns with Manchester United in battle for Rodriguez who is seen in the picture
James Rodriguez of Real Madrid CF looks on during the Liga match between Club Atletico de Madrid and Real Madrid CF at Wanda Metropolitano on September 28, 2019, in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

What Are The Colombian Playmaker’s Best Attributes?

Rodriguez is a technically-gifted footballer who can cause all sorts of problems for the opposition defenders when he is playing with confidence on the field. He excels at finding space using his excellent ball-control, composure and trickery in midfield. The Colombian still has the eye to play a killer pass in the final third and can even contribute by scoring his fair share of goals from midfield. At 28, he still has a few years left in his him to play at a high level which the Toffees could benefit from in the coming seasons.

Is Rodriguez The Right Choice For The Toffees?

Recruiting a playmaker of Rodriguez’s experience and skillset will undeniably be a massive coup for the Merseyside outfit before the start of the new season. He will not only add more goals and creativity to Carlo Ancelotti’s midfield but also improve the overall quality of his first-team at Goodison Park. Rodriguez will be a significant upgrade over any of Everton’s current attacking options in midfield. The likes of Gylfi Sigurdsson and Alex Iwobi have found it challenging to give a good account of themselves at Merseyside over the past ten months.

Hence, the Real Madrid outcast could prove to be a decent choice for the Toffees as he will also instil a winning mentality to the Everton squad which might help them compete for major trophies under Ancelotti’s stewardship in the years of come.

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