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James Rodriguez is currently out of favour with club and country

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03 Sep 2021
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Beso
Everton

That could be a struggle for the South American as he remains on the fringes of Rafa Benitez’s plans at Goodison Park, with no competitive minutes taken in for the Toffees this season.

Rodriguez is left out by Colombia

James Rodriguez is currently out of favour with club and country, with the Everton playmaker being warned by Colombia coach Reinaldo Rueda that he will need to reach “500%” to be drafted back into his plans. That could be a struggle for the South American as he remains on the fringes of Rafa Benitez’s plans at Goodison Park, with no competitive minutes taken in for the Toffees this season. Niggling knocks have been frustrating James, leading to him being left out by Colombia, and Rueda – who saw a war of words sparked when the 30-year-old was removed from Copa America plans over the summer – says “100 per cent is not enough” to earn favour again. Rueda has told reporters of James’ situation: “It is not only the healing of an injury but also the readaptation of the competition.

James must be at 500 per cent

“I think it’s obvious, we can’t hurt James, nor the national team, when we have seen him at his best, we want him, when he is 500% because 100% is not enough for the national team. We always tell the players that they must be at 500%; that is what is required to be in the Colombia national team. We want the players to take care of themselves in all possible variables. That 500% involves several factors and variables.” James completed a move to Everton in the summer of 2020 as he reunited with former Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti on Merseyside. Questions were asked of his suitability to English football throughout a testing debut campaign, and a supportive coach has now moved on back to Santiago Bernabeu.

A move elsewhere was mooted during the summer transfer window, as Benitez remained coy on his plans, but no deal was done, and James remains with the Toffees. Rueda says minutes will be required for him to consider selecting a national icon, with it clear that the current situation needs to change for all concerned. “Everything is going to happen because of what his current situation is,” Rueda added. “To the extent that James can play, have a better current situation, that is good for us, for Everton, for him and for the national team. “You want players to play regularly, to have that continuity, that rhythm for the competition.”

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  • James Rodríguez
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