Exclusive: Windass believes that ex-Everton star James Rodriguez isn’t a Benitez player

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Former Premier League striker Dean Windass believes that James Rodriguez isn’t a Rafa Benitez type of player. 

During his time at Goodison Park, Rodriguez featured in 26 games in all competitions, scoring six goals and assisting a further nine for his teammates under the guidance of Carlo Ancelotti.

Ancelotti departed Goodison Park to take up the managerial vacancy at Real Madrid and Rodriguez also departed Merseyside this summer, as he joined Qatari club Al Rayyan without featuring once under Benitez for the Toffees [Sky Sports].

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The £18m-rated 30-year-old had previously played under Benitez when he was manager of Real Madrid in the 2015/2016 season, playing eleven matches and scoring three goals and registering six assists for the Spanish giants.

Windass believes whilst Rodriguez is a great talent, he isn’t a Benitez type of player, telling This is Futbol: “He was their playmaker, great talent, but the trouble is does he track back? Does he do as we call it the water carrying? He doesn’t do it and Rafa doesn’t like those types of players – he likes two wide men with a man down the middle, you know the 4-3-3. 

“We had the same with Phil Brown at Hull when Jay-Jay Okocha came. Where can we get Jay-Jay in the team and the only way we could get Jay-Jay in the team was obviously if he plays in behind.

“We tried it once against Southampton and Phil played the diamond and Jay-Jay was at the top of the diamond and we got battered 4-0. He tried playing him wide left, but he didn’t want to track back. They’re the type of players that’ve got to fit in the system and obviously he didn’t fit in Rafa’s system.”

Benitez looked to add his own players to the Everton ranks this summer with Andros Townsend, Asmir Begovic, Demarai Gray, Andy Lonergan and Salomon Rondon all putting pen to paper on deals at Goodison Park.

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