Date: 18th December 2020 at 12:20pm
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The Athletic’s Everton correspondent Patrick Boyland has made a worrying claim regarding the Toffees’ Colombian midfielder James Rodriguez.

In Carlo Ancelotti’s side’s last two outings, they have picked up impressive wins against Chelsea and Leicester City (per Transfermarkt).

However, one man who was absent for both of those games was Everton’s summer signing Rodriguez, who has not been included in either of the matchday squads.

Speaking on the Colombian’s current injury issue, Ancelotti said it is “not a big problem” and there was a chance that he could play in Everton’s upcoming fixture against Arsenal (per Liverpool Echo).

During the latest episode of The Athletic’s Gwlad Tidings podcast, though, Boyland claimed that Rodriguez is not certain to make a return for the clash with the Gunners.

1 of 10

To kick off this quiz on Seamus Coleman, what squad number does the right-back currently wear for the Toffees?

He said: “Well, first of all, I don’t think it’s a given [that Rodriguez will return for the Arsenal match]. We’re still awaiting team news for that game.

“I don’t think it’s a given that James Rodriguez is 100% fit to face Arsenal.

“Certainly, when Ancelotti spoke to us before the Leicester game, there appeared to be an element of doubt in my mind – and in his mind, too, I should say.

“So, let’s see how that goes, he’s going to be assessed individually, he’s obviously back in training to an extent, largely individual work – running and gym and light work with the ball.

“There’s a process, he needs to step it up, he needs to get back in contact training with the rest of the squad.

“It’s a headache for Ancelotti, but it’s a good headache to have, because you come off the back of a couple of wins and people have put their hands up for selection.”

TIF Thoughts on what Patrick Boyland said about James Rodriguez…

As can be seen in what the journalist had to say, he believes that it is not certain that the Colombian will feature against the Gunners at Goodison Park tomorrow.

Would you say that James Rodriguez is Everton's best player?

No, not quite the best

No, not quite the best

Yes, he is excellent

Yes, he is excellent

That will likely be a blow for Ancelotti’s side as the midfielder has been a key performer for them so far this season.

In the Premier League, Rodriguez has scored three and assisted three in 10 appearances for the Toffees, earning him a 7.63/10 average rating (per WhoScored).

That rating has made him the Merseyside outfit’s best-performing player in the league so far this term.

So, it would certainly seem that the sooner Rodriguez is back in action for Everton, the better.