Exclusive: Ball drops big James Rodriguez claim

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Ex-Everton star Michael Ball insists that James Rodriguez could work his way back into the club’s first-team squad.

The Toffees ace has been exiled in recent months following the departure of Carlo Ancelotti to Real Madrid.

Rodriguez has not played a single minute of football this season prior to the clash with Villa on Saturday evening, and has instead endured a number of controversies.

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The Colombia international was streaming video games on Twitch and claimed that he had no idea who Everton were playing at the weekend.

Since then, he has also been pictured vaping on a boat, clearly on holiday, but Ball believes that the club should make an effort to bring the playmaker back into the fold.

In total, James has made 26 appearances for the Toffees, scoring six goals and registering nine assists in total and Ball believes he is simply too good to be left out consistently, especially as he looks to work his way into Colombia’s squad for next year’s World Cup.

Speaking to This Is Futbol, Ball said: “He wants to play football. He wants to play well to get in his national side for the World Cup.

“We need players of that ability in our starting XI. And fingers crossed, they can bang their heads together and just look forward. The transfer window opens up in four months’ time so while there’s a player of that ability, use him at every opportunity I feel.”

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