Date: 10th May 2021 at 12:01pm
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Ex-Everton man Michael Ball has exclusively told This Is Futbol that attacking midfielder James Rodriguez has proved himself to be a world-class player this season.

The Colombia international moved to the Toffees in the summer, with BBC Sport reporting that the club paid £12m to snaffle him away from .

He has gone on to make 22 Premier League appearances, playing primarily as a right , but also being deployed in attacking midfield, and has scored six goals and registered five assists.

Now 29, the former Real star has been central to the way Everton have played at times this season, and is one of the reasons they remain in contention to qualify for Europe.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side are currently eighth and eight points behind fourth-placed Chelsea but they have a game in hand, meaning their hopes of qualification are not quite over yet.

Ball played for Everton between 1996 and 2001, and he believes that the silky midfielder is a truly elite presence in the Toffees team.

He told This Is Futbol: “James Rodriguez playing a game of football on your pitch, in that blue shirt, he is world class.

“He just finds pockets of space to hurt any opposition if you give him that time and that space.”