James Rodriguez’s creative genius came to the fore on Sunday as the new Everton signing gave Tottenham Hotspur a torrid afternoon in a sparkling debut.
The ex-Real Madrid and Bayern Munich star was reunited with former coach Carlo Ancelotti at Goodison Park after completing a £22-million ($29m) move at the start of September.
And despite having less than a week with his new teammates prior to making his Premier League bow, James left Everton fans delighted with a brilliant display in the side’s 1-0 win in north London.
It was the side’s first Premier League win in the capital in their last nine attempts, with Everton’s last victory in London coming 18 months ago away to West Ham.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin sealed three points for Ancelotti’s charges with a fine header from Lucas Digne’s free kick 55 minutes into the clash, while the Toffees also squandered a number of excellent chances to extend their advantage.
A large proportion of those came directly from the left boot of the Colombia international, who thrived on the right side of an attacking trident completed by Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison.
James created no less than five chances before being withdrawn in a late substitution, more than any other player on the pitch.
Indeed, not since Alexis Sanchez’s Arsenal bow in 2014 has a Premier League newcomer managed that figure in their debut.
As well as James, Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure also received their first taste of action in an Everton shirt, and the playmaker believes that the club could yet attract more big names as they look to improve on 2019-20’s 12th place finish in the Premier League.
‘We can’t afford to be up and down in our performances. It helps obviously when you’ve got a great and hugely knowledgeable manager that we have,’ James explained to reporters ahead of his first match for the Merseysiders.
‘The club has proved its intent with the three signings it’s made in this window and let’s hope that, in the next few months, we can show that optimism.
‘Let’s hope over the period of seasons and the next few years, other big names will come in to join us.’
Everton’s next league test comes on September 19, when recently promoted West Bromwich Albion visit Goodison Park.
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