Former Real Madrid attacking midfielder James Rodriguez is at Everton now, and fans were happy to see him succeed in his first start.
James Rodriguez no longer had a place in Zinedine Zidane’s lineup at Real Madrid, so the club had to sell him this summer with one year remaining on his contract. PSG, Napoli, Milan, Arsenal, Manchester United, Atletico Madrid, and more were linked to James, but he ultimately did end up reuniting with former Madrid (and Bayern Munich) manager Carlo Ancelotti at Everton.
Madridistas know the special bond between James and Ancelotti, who knows how to get the most out of the technically prolific playmaker. Everton always looked like the ideal landing spot for James, and they needed a player like him to gel things together.
In his first start for Everton against Jose Mourinho and Tottenham, James Rodriguez was the best player on the pitch, and that is no exaggeration. He was everywhere, working hard defensively, as he did in 2019-2020 for Real Madrid as an improved and motivated player, and was his usual sublime self in the attack.
James led the way for Everton in the 1-0 victory with five key passes, per WhoScored.com, attempting difficult passes with quality that fans of the Toffees have not seen at their club in ages. He attempted 12 long balls, completing 11 of them to show just how much command he can have on the pitch as a passer.
James Rodriguez helped out defensively, too
Dangerous throughout, James did more than just create chances. He also won two dribbles and drew two fouls, showing his underrated dribbling ability. He can create for himself, too, as unselfish as he is.
Finally, James made a team-high four interceptions with a tackle thrown in, putting in the work for Ancelotti in midfield to help Everton hold Mourinho’s struggling Spurs side to a clean sheet.
It was an all-action display from the Colombian playmaker. Real Madrid fans knew James had to go to save wages and to recoup some salary, as he no longer had a place in the first team and needed to be sold now. But they still wanted James to succeed and play elsewhere, preferably at Everton with Ancelotti.
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He’s already off to a great start and showing fans around the Premier League why Real Madrid fans have always sung his praises. James is a quality player, and hopefully this display is just the first of many great ones.