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Rafael Benitez speaks out over James Rodriguez’s Everton future

Rafael Benitez speaks out over James Rodriguez’s Everton future

 

New Everton boss Rafael Benitez has, on Thursday, been drawn on the future of transfer-linked midfielder James Rodriguez.

James back in form

Colombian international Rodriguez of course only made the move to Goodison Park last summer.

On the back of another testing season on the books of Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid, during which he struggled for game-time, the 29-year-old opted to try his hand in the Premier League for the first time.

And the ensuing campaign, in turn, proved largely positive.

Whilst he was forced to deal with a number of niggling fitness issues, Rodriguez, when fit, slotted into Everton’s midfield with ease, adding some much-needed guile to the club’s ranks.

All told, in 26 appearances across all competitions, the talented South American racked up 6 goals and 9 assists.

‘Find a solution…’

Rodriguez’s Everton switch developing in the first place, though, only came about due to the persistence of Carlo Ancelotti, who had previously overseen some of the finest form of the Colombian’s career whilst in Madrid.

In turn, upon the tactician bringing an abrupt end to his Goodison stint at the beginning of last month, it came as little surprise when speculation surrounding Rodriguez’s future quickly followed.

And, as outlined above, the man to have replaced Ancelotti on Merseyside has today understandably been drawn on the situation.

Speaking to the media on Thursday afternoon, Rafael Benitez was asked directly whether James could be sold over the coming weeks, in a bid to raise funds for further arrivals at Everton.

Rafael Benitez speaks out over James Rodriguez’s Everton future

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 09: Rafael Benitez, Manager of Newcastle United reacts during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Wolverhampton Wanderers at St. James Park on December 9, 2018 in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

And the Spaniard, after highlighting the extent of the financial outlay overseen by Farhad Moshiri and co. since 2016, refused to rule out the possibility, in explaining:

‘Everybody knows that this club has spent a lot of money in the last few years so that means that Financial Fair Play is a factor.’

‘If you have players with big salaries that normally aren’t playing then you want to find a solution and this solution will mean you have money to spend on new players.’

‘So we will try to maximise what we have and manage the best way possible to be sure we can bring players that will make us strong.’

 

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Premier League table
# Team MP D P
1 Manchester United 4 8 10
2 Chelsea FC 4 8 10
3 Liverpool FC 4 8 10
4 Everton FC 4 6 10
5 Manchester City 4 10 9
6 Brighton & Hove Albion 4 2 9
7 Tottenham Hotspur 4 0 9
8 West Ham United 4 5 8
9 Leicester City 4 -2 6
10 Brentford FC 4 1 5
11 Crystal Palace 4 0 5
12 Aston Villa 4 -2 4
13 Wolverhampton Wanderers 4 -1 3
14 Southampton FC 4 -2 3
15 Watford FC 4 -4 3
16 Leeds United 5 -7 3
17 Arsenal FC 4 -8 3
18 Newcastle United 5 -7 2
19 Burnley FC 4 -5 1
20 Norwich City 4 -10 0
Premier League 21/22
Topscorers
Disciplinary
Assists
Player Team Goals
Antonio, Michail West Ham United 4
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 4
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United 4
Lukaku, Romelu Chelsea FC 3
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 3
Gray, Demarai Everton FC 3
Calvert-Lewin, Dominic Everton FC 3
Sarr, Ismaila Watford FC 3
Greenwood, Mason Manchester United 3
Ings, Danny Aston Villa 2
Saint-Maximin, Allan Newcastle United 2
Benrahma, Said West Ham United 2
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City 2
Toney, Ivan Brentford FC 2
Fornals, Pablo West Ham United 2
Torres, Ferran Manchester City 2
Dennis, Emmanuel Watford FC 2
Gallagher, Conor Crystal Palace 2
Ronaldo, Cristiano Manchester United 2
Pukki, Teemu Norwich City 2