Football writer Josh Williams has made a bold prediction regarding one of Everton’s key players ahead of the new Premier League season.
Having seen Carlo Ancelotti leave this summer for Real Madrid, James Rodriguez may find himself further down the pecking order at the club than most would have probably predicted less than 12 months into his Everton career, with the midfielder apparently being told he can leave.
And while speaking on Royal Blue: The Everton FC Podcast, Williams thinks that new manager Rafael Benitez may not be so keen to force the Colombian playmaker into his team, suggesting Alex Iwobi could even be ahead of him in the Spaniard’s plans.
Williams said: “In the 10 role, I think if James stays, I can’t see him playing there that often, I’ll be honest.
“The situation has to be so favourable for Benitez to field a player like that. So I think more often than not, in that 10 role, I think you might see Iwobi a little bit more than James Rodriguez.”
TIF Thoughts on James Rodriguez, Rafa Benitez and Everton…
Benitez is known for a more conservative approach to football, often opting for control in a game and relying upon counterattacks to create chances for this team.
Clashing with that notion, James has come into some criticism in the past for his perceived lack of work rate.
While it seems bold to suggest Iwobi – who has just four goals in 65 appearances for the club – would start over the 2014 World Cup Golden Boot winner, the Nigerian’s willingness to do the defensive side of the game may have him relied upon by his new manager.