Managerial Motivation Enough To Keep Columbian Superstar At Everton

Columbian midfielder James Rodriguez has made a call on his future in the Premier League.
Image Credit: James Rodriguez during the game Colombia Paraguay for the eliminatory 2013// Copa2014.gov.br//Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 br

Everton attacking midfielder James Rodriguez looks set to stay and fight for his place at the club after claiming he is fit and ready to play for the Toffees. 

The Columbian star’s future in the Premier League has been a big doubt throughout the summer transfer window after Rodriguez was heavily linked with loan moves to FC Porto and Turkish club FC Basaksehir.

But the Everton playmaker has now announced he is now keen to fight for a position in Rafa Benitez’s starting 11, despite not having made an appearance for the Toffees since last May.

“Everton play on Monday, if they want to take me, I’m ready, I’m looking forward to playing if it’s my turn,” as reported by Columbian news outlet AS.

Rodriguez confirmed on a Twitch stream last week that he had returned to training and said, “preparing myself in case I have to play, I’m ready to do well if I have to play. I’m getting in good shape physically; I’m fine. I’m calm.”

“I’m very happy because the Everton fans have shown me a lot of affection; if I get to play, I’ll play well as always.”

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The Columbian hasn’t featured for Everton this season, with his last league game notably coming two weeks before former manager Carlo Ancelotti left the club to rejoin Real Madrid in June. 

Since then, great speculation over Rodriguez’s future at the club has ensued, particularly after the 30-year-old made several controversial statements on social media during the summer, including an admission that he had forgotten who Everton were playing in their second game of the season. 

With his contract set to expire on 30 June 2022, Rodriguez had been heavily linked with a loan move to FC Basaksehir, but last week reportedly turned down a move to Turkey, opting instead to stay and fight for his place at Everton.  

Turkish football agent Ahmet Bulut confirmed the rumours, stating that the Columbian had a “chance” of moving to Basaksehir but also claimed, “I don’t think the footballer had the intention of going.”

He’d have arrived on loan. But unfortunately, he didn’t transfer because he thought he might get a chance in England,Fotomac reports

Meanwhile, Everton manager Rafa Benitez spoke frankly on the situation in his press conference ahead of Monday night’s fixture against Burnley, issuing a challenge to the Columbian midfielder.

It was not easy because he was available in the transfer window,” Benitez said in his pre-match press conference. 

I think he realised he has to improve in a lot of things. He has to focus; he has to show his commitment. That’s what he’s trying to do, and that is good for us.

“If he stays with us, it’s good news for us because he can give us something more. We don’t have any doubt about his quality; we have to be sure that we have players playing for 90 minutes with the intensity we’re looking for.

“If James is staying with us, we need to find the right games for him, and he has to show his commitment and his desire. It’s something his teammates, fans, and staff are expecting for him.”

Despite training with the first-team squad, Benitez admitted Rodriguez was “a little bit behind the rest of his teammates” in match fitness and remains a doubt to start for Everton on Monday night. 

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