Football journalist Matt Cunningham has been sharing his praise for Everton midfielder James Rodriguez and his impact he has on Carlo Ancelotti’s side when he’s on the pitch.
This comes after Cunningham made an appearance on a recent episode of the Football Social Daily Podcast where he spoke about a variety of topics concerning the Premier League and its clubs.
On the subject of Everton’s recent 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace at Goodison Park where Rodriguez managed to grab himself a goal for the Toffees, Cunningham had this to say about the Colombian and his role in the team.
He said: “He’s a classy player. I was surprised when they got him, but I also didn’t think he would be as good as he has been.
“I don’t think he was this good at Real Madrid, and what we saw for Colombia in that one World Cup where he scored the goal of the tournament and he was unbelievable, I don’t think was a true representation of Rodriguez. But the Rodriguez at Everton, he’s been top-drawer, and when I watch him play, he changes them a little bit; they look a bit lacklustre going forward and then when he plays, that entire dimension changes.
“I think if Rodriguez could have stayed fit, it’s got to only benefit them, he’s been fantastic all season, he’ll probably be a shoo-in for a Player of the Season award and people will be talking about him in that vein because when he plays, he really does make a difference to that side.”
Everton signed Rodriguez back in the previous summer transfer window from Real Madrid on a free transfer. Since arriving at Goodison Park, the 29-year-old, who is currently valued at £27 million, has 22 appearances for the Merseyside club across the Premier League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup, scoring six goals and providing eight assists in the process (per Transfermarkt).
Do you think Rodriguez has been Everton's best player this season?
TIF Thoughts on Matt Cunningham’s comments on Rodriguez…
Given how Rodriguez has managed to earn himself a solid season rating of 7.28/10 for his performances throughout the Premier League this season, making him Everton’s highest-rated player in their squad ahead of the likes of Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison, it’s understandable why Cunningham has been so impressed with the midfield man.
Moving forward, if Rodriguez can end his debut season with Everton on a high note, then he would surely be considered as one of the best transfers of the previous summer window across the Premier League.