James Rodriguez has pinpointed the vital quality Everton need if they want to achieve Champions League football in the future. And the new signing believes that the club has shown its intent to make that dream a possibility over the next few years. The Colombia international was the second of a trio of transfers into Goodison Park in quick succession, completing his switch from Real Madrid. The 29-year-old signed a two-year deal, with Everton having the option of a third later down the line. And already Rodriguez has got his sights set on some ambitious goals under Carlo Ancelotti, but he believes that consistency has to be the key factor for the club in the future. Consistency is something which plagued Everton last season, leaving them in 12 place in the Premier League by the end of July. But, despite admitting to not specifically watching clips of his new club from last term, Rodriguez is convinced the quality in the squad is enough to achieve better things.
James Rodriguez said “There are some serious-minded people at this club who mean business about getting this club into those Champions League places and that’s very important, I think. Obviously you have to fight hard to get in those places and what you have to do is show consistency. In a Premier League season you’re talking about a game every three or four days a lot of the season, so you have to show a high standard and display a high standard of football not just every other game, but every game. We need to be consistent and perform at our highest level if we want to be up there fighting for those top places. We can’t afford to be up and down in our performances. It helps obviously when you’ve got a great and hugely knowledgeable manager that we have. The club has proved its intent with the three signings it’s made in this window and let’s hope that, in the next few months, we can show that optimism. Let’s hope over the period of seasons and the next few years, other big names will come in to join us. I’ll be honest I’ve not specifically picked out Everton games to watch from last season but certainly that doesn’t mean I’m not aware of the players. I knew of the players before I came, of course I did. I’ve watched the Premier League for a good few years now and I’m certainly aware of the talent, ability and the fact we’ve got good players at this club. Hopefully this will be a great start to move onto even greater things.”
The 29-year-old has been taking part in his first training sessions this week, linking up with some familiar faces as well as new ones. Yerry Mina is a fellow Colombia international, while the Blues boast a number of South American players throughout the squad. And Rodriguez has admitted he believes that will help him settle both on and off the pitch, just as conversations with teammates prior to his move helped him understand what to expect from the English game.
James Rodriguez said “I spoke with Modric and I spoke a lot with Yerry, and they told me what the Premier League was going to be like and what football in England is like,” the former Real Madrid man added. Highly intense, high-tempo games, strength is important. It’s fast-paced and very physical, to sum up. But I believe that when you know you can play football and you’ve got ability and skill, it’s easy to adapt to any style of football. Obviously I’m going to need a few games, you always do when you move to a new country. When you’ve been here a few weeks and you play in a few games I think that’s a real opportunity to get to know it for yourself personally. That’s how you can develop and adapt and settle in. The fact that there are quite a few players from South America, from back home if you like, makes things easier not just on the field but in day-to-day routine things. Getting to know the club from the inside, getting to know the city, it makes it all a lot easier for me. With the amount of us here let’s hope we can all go on to great things, combine well together and do well. I feel good right now. I feel really fit in myself now, I feel I could play right now. Sometimes, when you’ve had a lay-off it can be beneficial in terms of your general level of fitness. I’m here to help everyone, to work hard, to play when chosen and that’s what I want to do.”
Everton kick off their Premier League campaign away to Spurs on Sunday afternoon, with Ancelotti hoping to get his side off to a strong start. And, with only a few training sessions under his belt, Rodriguez already feels prepared to be involved.
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