Date: 10th March 2021 at 7:00pm
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Liverpool Echo journalist Dave Prentice has been speaking on the latest episode of the Royal Blue podcast on all things Everton after their loss to Chelsea on Monday.

Everton dropped points to their top-four rivals in what was a comfortable 2-0 win for ’s side, who strengthened their Champions League ambitions with the .

Prentice commented on the absence of summer signing James Rodriguez after the Colombian missed his third consecutive game after last appearing in their 2-0 derby win over Liverpool

The 29-year-old is suffering from a calf injury, but Carlo Ancelotti does not believe it is a long-term concern.

When speaking about the Colombian’s regular injury woes, Prentice had this to say on the topic.

He said: “It’s frustrating because he has made such a huge impact when he has been available.

“So it’s frustrating, but I think Carlo brought him in with that in mind – knowledge that he’s not played football consistently for some time. He’s 29 now, he’s of an age where injuries might be picked up a little bit more frequently.

“But, he’s absolute top quality. Could Everton afford a player of that quality who’s going to be available for 38 matches in a season? Probably not, because those kinds of players are going to cost you £60m or £70m.

“I’m not saying that James is a cut-price version of that, he’s an absolutely quality player, but he’s at the wrong end of his career rather than at the outset.”

Was James Rodriguez signing of the summer?

Yes

Yes

No

No

Rodriguez has made 18 appearances for the Toffees this season and netted five times in the Premier League (via Transfermarkt).

TIF Thoughts on Prentice’s Rodriguez claims…

Luring a two-time Champions League winner like Rodriguez to Merseyside, but not the red side, was a huge message sent out from Everton to the rest of the league in the summer and it is clear from Prentice’s comments that he believes he is absolutely worth the injuries which come with him.

That said, the defeat to Chelsea was just the second time this season the Toffees failed to win without him in the side, but it could also be argued that when Everton win with Rodriguez, he is invariably involved in the goals.

Therefore, you can see where Prentice is coming from, though perhaps we would only see the true value of Rodriguez if he was able to put a consistent run of games together.