Rumours are continuously swirling across Merseyside of Everton manager Rafa Benitez reportedly informing midfield starlet James Rodriguez that he is not a part of his plans for the upcoming Premier League season.
According to multiple sources, the newly appointed Blues gaffer has made it clear to the Colombian international that he is free to leave this summer, with AC Milan and Porto among the clubs interested.
Rodriguez almost confirmed these rumours in a gaming stream on the Twitch platform a few nights ago. On the stream, the midfielder emphasised that he must be at a club where he is “wanted”.
At the head of another Everton rebuild, Benitez wants a big clear-out of wages and dead wood, but is this a good idea for the Toffees?
On one hand, it seems a little bit confusing. Ridding the maestro that became an instant fan favourite by leading his new side to their best start to a league campaign in over a century? Crazy.
The 2014 World Cup superstar definitely got off to a hot start with his new club, recording an impressive three goals and three assists in the opening five match days.
This flying form allowed the Toffees to endure their best winning run since their title-winning year back in 1987.
(Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Getty Images)
But it wasn’t all smooth sailing, as the rest of Rodriguez’s season was riddled with injuries as the Blues would eventually fall to a more familiar and miserable tenth-place finish.
Rodriguez would only make a slender 21 Premier League starts, failing to string together more than four league appearances in a row since a calf injury in late October.
This sparks discussion on whether the midfielder can actually handle the physicality of England’s top flight. This, along with the 30-year-old’s apparently mammoth impact on the Everton wage book, means Benitez’s alleged actions seem less puzzling.
Now on the other hand, shipping Rodriguez off along with the dead wood of the squad (such as Fabian Delph, Andre Gomes and Jonjoe Kenny) will provide the Blues some much needed cash to bring in reinforcements.
Arguably the number one position Everton are in need of strengthening is for a proven, young right back to challenge the ageing club captain Seamus Coleman. Standout performer for the Netherlands at the Euros, Denzel Dumfries, would be great use of the money.