Monday, October 19, 2020
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Everton mean business, says Rodriguez

James Rodriguez
James Rodriguez has been reunited with former manager Carlo Ancelotti at Everton

New Everton midfielder James Rodriguez believes the club “mean business” under boss Carlo Ancelotti and says he can still improve his game.

The £12m signing from Real Madrid was a Golden Boot winner at the 2014 World Cup and scored 17 goals in 40 starts under Ancelotti at the Bernabeu.

Despite winning nine major trophies, his form since has been inconsistent.

But the 29-year-old Colombian believes working with Ancelotti for a third time could help Everton win trophies.

“Everton is a club that means business, there are lot of serious-minded people at all levels who are determined to achieve and that will ultimately mean winning trophies,” said Rodriguez, who also played under Ancelotti on loan at Bayern Munich.

“It’s not going to happen overnight, but it’s a long-term plan. I’ve seen positive signs we can make progress. Whether it’s over the next few months or next few years, trophies are more than a possibility.”

Asked if he still had a point to prove in his career, Rodriguez added: “I’m hopeful I can learn and continue to improve as a player.

“I have a manager alongside who knows me very well, and I know him, so all things are positive. I’ve always wanted to achieve more.”

Everton have spent £54m on a midfield revamp with Rodriguez, Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure all joining the club this window, a string of signings which Ancelotti called “fantastic”.

The Italian, who has won the Champions League three times as a manager, said: “I think we can reach Europe next season. The goal is quite clear.”

Ancelotti, joined Everton in December and after a positive first few months where he targeted European football, they finished 12th, 10 points behind sixth-place Tottenham, who they travel to face on Sunday at 16:30 BST.

Rodriguez, who has had most of his success playing as a number 10, also said that working with Ancelotti again was a big factor in joining Everton.

The pair spent the 2014-15 season at Real Madrid where the Spanish team won the Uefa Super Cup and the Club World Cup. Ancelotti also took Rodriguez on loan to Bayern Munich before he was sacked during the 2017-18 season.

“[Working with Ancelotti] influenced my decision a lot,” he said. “We enjoyed a great season in 2014 and a good season for me personally, we had a good relationship between us as manager and player.

“Everton is a good club with a lot of history and I’m keen to play to the best of my ability and prove it’s been a good choice to reunite with the manager.”

Ancelotti added: “I know the player well and I have a lot of confidence in him. He’s a fantastic player and professional and I’m sure he will do his best for Everton first and for him also.”

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