Rodriguez is Everton's most exciting transfer since Lineker and he justified the hype with dazzling debut vs Tottenham
JAMES RODRIGUEZ justified all the hype with a dazzling debut that suggested Everton are going to get full value from their move into the Galactico market.
The Colombian midfielder’s arrival has been touted as the Toffees’ most exciting signing since they landed Gary Lineker 35 years ago.
And it is easy to see why after his dazzling display during the Toffees' 1-0 win at Tottenham.
Both men were Golden Boot winners at the World Cup finals, and while James will never be as prolific as Lineker, his debut suggests he will get his share of goals.
But it is as a creative force that he will really make his mark if he continues in this vein.
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He sprayed around some gorgeous passes, and a couple of diagonal balls to Richarlison had Gary Neville and the rest of the TV pundits purring with appreciation.
There have not been many more exciting Premier League debuts, with James demanding the ball right from the start, without putting a foot wrong for the next 90 minutes.
He was on the ball more than twenty times in the opening 15 minutes, and did not waste a touch.
James’ star may have dimmed a bit since he burst onto the scene at the 2014 World Cup, with his £70million move from Monaco to Real Madrid proving a bit his and miss – and a loan spell at Bayern Munich falling into the same category.
But he clearly still has real star quality, and at 29 he has enough time to make a real impression on the Premier League.
And he should thank Ancelotti for bringing in two more top quality midfielders in Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure, who are clearly going to give James a licence to thrill.
They will do most of the nitty-gritty while the Colombian will unpick the opposition.
The likes of Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison must be licking their lips at the prospect of getting on the end of his defence-splitting passes.
His starting position, wide on the right, clearly suits James, as he looks to cut inside and fire off a shot with his stronger left foot, as he did a couple of times here.
But he regularly drifted into a more central role, swapping places with Andre Gomes, which left his marker, Ben Davies, chasing shadows.
Davies resorted to a couple of crude lunges, but it was encouraging to see the way James picked himself up and shrugged off the whacks.
Everton fans have had to endure plenty of false dawns since they last lifted a trophy a quarter of a century ago, but it looks as if Ancelotti’s pulling power could finally signal a welcome upturn in their fortunes.
There were FOUR South American players in the Everton starting line-up, with James teaming up with fellow Colombian Yerry Mina, as well as the Brazilian duo of Allan and Richarlison.
And Everton fans could easily be dancing to a Samba beat this season after this sparkling start.
After the game, Ancelotti said: "His performance after just three or four days training was outstanding, but I was not surprised – this is what he can do on the pitch.
“I was a little bit worried about James because he has not trained so much. But I was in touch with him during the game and he was not too tired, although I took him off right at the end because he had done so much.
“We knew it would not be difficult for him to adapt to the Premier Legaue.
"It is more about him adapting to his new team-mates, to be aware of their movement, and for them to know his qualities.
“The performance of the whole team was brilliant."
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