Sunday, October 2, 2022

Everton Playmaker Could Be Back After The International Break: Big Boost 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.

In a recent interview with Caracol, Everton playmaker James Rodriguez confirmed that he could be back after the international break. The Colombian attacker said (translated by Sport Witness),

“I’ll play again for the next game, April 3rd, I think. I’m very well thank God, and I want to play again.”

Rodriguez’s recent words suggest that he could be back for the Toffees’ home clash against Crystal Palace in the Premier League on April 5th. This latest development will be a welcome bit of news for everyone associated with the Merseyside club as they have suffered three successive losses across all competitions in the Colombian’s injury absence.

Rodriguez’s Excellent Debut Campaign In English Football

The Cucuta-born playmaker has enjoyed a productive debut season at Goodison Park as he has put in some excellent displays from the left side of Carlo Ancelotti’s attack. Rodriguez has participated in 21 matches for Everton this term, netting five goals and securing eight assists in the process in various competitions.

The 29-year-old deserves a lot of credit for being consistent in terms of his all-round contributions down the left-wing. The former FC Porto star is averaging 1.2 tackles, 0.7 interceptions, 1.5 shots, 1.7 key passes and 1.6 dribbles per 90 minutes in this Premier League campaign. He has even taken care of the ball when distributing it in the opposition half, as evidenced by his pass completion rate of 82.6% in the English top tier (stats via whoscored).

Everton's Rodriguez could be back after the international break (Rodriguez is seen in the picture)
EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or live services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Paul Greenwood/BPI/Shutterstock 11759394dr James Rodriguez of Everton Everton v Fulham, Premier League, Football, Goodison Park, Liverpool, UK – 14 Feb 2021 Everton v Fulham, Premier League, Football, Goodison Park, Liverpool, UK – 14 Feb 2021 EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or live services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTXHUNxGRExMLTxCYPxROMxBULxUAExKSAxONLY Copyright: xPaulxGreenwood/BPI/Shutterstockx 11759394dr

What Are The Colombia International’s Best Attributes?

Rodriguez can create chances out of nothing and is proficient at unlocking the opponent’s defence with a killer pass, which makes him one of the most important players in Ancelotti’s first-team. He has carried most of Everton’s creative workload this season, so it is no surprise that the Merseysiders have struggled in his injury absence.

The 76-time Colombia international can strike the ball with power. Rodriguez can even generate some curve to bend the ball into the net when offered time and space to shoot by his marker. However, frequent injuries have often hampered his progress over the past few years, so only time will tell whether he can remain fit and healthy for the remainder of this campaign.

Rodriguez Set To Comeback Vs Crystal Palace: Massive Boost For The Toffees?

Rodriguez’s return from injury versus the Eagles will be a big boost for Ancelotti and his hopes of finishing this campaign strong so that his players have a realistic shot of securing European football for next season. The Colombian sensation has what it takes to make a real difference in this upcoming home game, considering how Crystal Palace tend to sit back and defend in numbers.

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