James Rodriguez OUT of Everton's season opener against Southampton

James Rodriguez OUT of Everton’s season opener against Southampton as new manager Rafa Benitez confirms that Colombian star is one of FIVE players isolating

  • Everton begin Premier League campaign against Southampton on Saturday
  • Rafa Benitez has revealed a number of players will be missing due to isolation
  • James Rodriguez is one of them and there is still uncertainty over his future  

James Rodriguez is unavailable for Everton’s Premier League opener against Southampton on Saturday, Toffees boss Rafael Benitez has revealed.

While forwards Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison are set to be involved in the match at Goodison Park, Rodriguez is among five Everton players currently isolating.

There has been uncertainty around the Colombia playmaker’s future, and when Benitez, who took charge at the club in June, was asked at his pre-match press conference on Friday if Rodriguez was part of his plans or was allowed to leave, he said: ‘I have had my conversation with him at the beginning, and then he knows my idea – but now he is not available, so it is not an issue for tomorrow.

James Rodriguez is unavailable for Everton ‘s Premier League opener against Southampton

‘We will discuss every single player with them, with their agents, and then try to find the best solution for us, for the club, and also for the players.

‘Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin are available, but we have some players that are in isolation, and then we have to manage that.’

Everton have so far brought in Demarai Gray, Andros Townsend and Asmir Begovic as new signings this summer.

Regarding potential further recruitment before the tranfer window closes, Benitez said: ‘I’m sure that if you asked, the majority of the managers want to improve, want to strengthen their squad.

Rafa Benitez revealed Rodriguez is among five Everton players currently isolating

‘It still is early, we have to wait a little bit until the end of the transfer window. But I’m happy with the way the players are training, the way we are working, and hopefully we can replicate that on the pitch.

With Goodison Park set to be full for the first time since March 2020, the former Liverpool manager was asked what his message would be to Everton fans attending Saturday’s game still feeling a bit unsure about his appointment.

And the Spaniard said: ‘I think they have seen during these weeks what we can try to do, and the point is that after 17 months I think they will be desperate to see the team on the pitch, to cheer the players, to support the team.

‘I think they are quite clever and they know the main thing for us is to be sure we are strong at home. They can be a major part of our success, and I’m sure they will be supporting the team in the way they did all the time.’

Share this article

Source: Read Full Article