Date: 15th September 2020 at 9:00am
Written by: Dwayne Gavan

Everton picked up all three points against Tottenham on Sunday, beating the Lilywhites 1-0 on Sunday afternoon, and James Rodriguez was one of many players praised for his performance. The 29-year-old started with our other summer signings Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure and was named Man of the Match for his overall contribution.

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Which club did Everton loan Cenk Tosun out to in January?

Hard-working and highly creative

A lot is expected of James after his move from Real Madrid and the Colombian international didn’t disappoint. Operating as a makeshift right-sided forward, James created more chances (5) than any other player on the pitch and registered the second-most dribbles (2) in our squad. No Everton player made more interceptions than James (3) either, so we couldn’t have wished for a better showing from a debutant.

As per WhoScored, the 29-year-old played for 91 minutes, had 75 touches, won one aerial duel, completed 83.9% of his 56 passes, created five chances, had three shots, whipped in one cross, made two tackles, played 12 long balls with 11 finding a teammate, made three interceptions, won two freekicks and had two dribbles. Gylfi Sigurdsson averaged a chance every 50 minutes in the Premier League last season, but James is currently on 22 minutes after Sunday.

Supporters have fallen in love

James was brilliant in the final third, but fans were also delighted with him turning over possession so many times on Sunday. The Colombian international showed high levels of industry and a willingness to do the dirty work, so he’ll be a perfect fit for the Premier League.

It’s surprising seeing James take to the league so quickly after struggling for playing time at Real Madrid last season, but he’s clearly making up for lost time. After being virtually frozen out by Zinedine Zidane, the 29-year-old now leads the charts for most chances created after the first round of games.

I was wrong about James

It’s time for me to eat humble pie. Never did I think James would leave Real and come to Goodison Park this summer.

Marcel Brands was tasked with lowering our average age and James’ £140k-per-week wages would have made him our highest earner, so I didn’t think we’d make a move.

I also questioned whether the 29-year-old would even want to come to Everton from Real, even if Carlo Ancelotti was there, so I’m delighted at being proven wrong. James is quite a coup.

In other news, here’s how Abdoulaye Doucoure fared on his Everton debut versus Tottenham 9am

 

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