James Rodriguez of Everton offered to AC Milan
According to Italian outlet Tuttosport (h/t The Express), agent Jorge Mendes has offered his client, James Rodriguez, to AC Milan, with the idea that Everton can sell him for around £8.5million. Carlo Ancelotti worked with the player at Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, and the Italian was the main reason why Rodriguez moved to Merseyside in the first place.
But with the Italian now back to Madrid, the playmaker’s future is now uncertain. Rafa Benitez has been appointed as the new Everton manager and let’s find out why his first task should be to keep hold of the Colombian international.
Everton need the star playmaker
James Rodriguez is a big name in world football ever since his mesmerising showing for Colombia at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. While he struggled to cement his place in Madrid and Bayern’s starting XIs over the years, Rodriguez is still an acclaimed playmaker.
But apart from the limelight he brings to Goodison Park with his star-power, Everton need him for other reasons. The club is currently not in the best state when it comes to possessing depth in attacking midfield as well as their wings. Rodriguez, who can play as a No.10 as well as a winger, is vital in that regard.
Gylfi Sigurdsson, their Icelandic playmaker, is in the last year of his contract. Apart from the former Swansea man, Rodriguez is the club’s only natural No.10. And that is not the only thing the former AS Monaco winger brings to the table. His versatility is something that is a blessing for any club to have.
In his debut season at Merseyside, Rodriguez played as a No.10, as a winger, and also down the middle. Over the years, he has occupied various positions across the pitch, including central midfield. And this will be highly beneficial for the Toffees, who could be on the verge of losing multiple players in those positions in the summer.
Rodriguez is vital to this Everton squad
According to The Athletic (Subscription Required), wingers Yannick Bolasie and Theo Walcott, and second-striker Joshua King are all leaving Everton as their contracts expire. Left-winger Bernard, who came as a free agent in 2018 from Ukraine, is also in the last year of his Everton deal.
These are all positions that Rodriguez has played during his long and illustrious career. Moreover, Rodriguez isn’t just a backup option for any manager to toy around with. The 29-year-old is a quality midfielder who would look to hold down a starting position wherever he plays.
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Hence, keeping hold of him makes a lot of sense for Everton. The superstar is in the last year of his contract that expires in 2022 but thankfully for the Toffees, they have an option to extend it by one year. The potential transfer fee quoted above is also pretty minuscule, thus making it wiser to keep him for at least another season than letting him go for that amount.