Everton have completed the signing of Colombian superstar James Rodriguez in a deal they hope will elevate the club’s standing on and off the pitch.
Rodriguez’s arrival was confirmed on Monday evening, the 29-year-old signing a two year deal with the option for a third. Everton are not disclosing the fee to Real Madrid although it is believed to be just under £20 million.
“I’m looking forward to achieving great things here – and winning things,” said Rodriguez.
“I’ve come here to try to improve, to get better. I’ve also come here to help the team to win, to play good football – entertaining football.
“I’m convinced we can achieve big things.”
Rodriguez’s arrival demonstrates the power of manager Carlo Ancelotti. He previously worked with the attacking midfielder at Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.
His presence at Everton convinced the player he can shine in the Premier League.
“One of the big reasons (I signed) was the presence of Carlo Ancelotti,” said Rodriguez.
“I have enjoyed some great times with him previously at two different clubs. That was a massive reason to come here.
“I’m a winner, I’m a real winner. I can see the plans here, the project here is very serious. Everyone means business. I have sensed that good feeling right from the very start, and it is excellent.”
With Brazilian Allan secured over the weekend, there is an exciting look about Everton’s midfield ahead of their opening Premier League game with Tottenham Hotspur.
As well as raising the quality of the squad, the Merseyside club hopes Rodriguez’s presence will enable them to capitalise off it.
Rodriguez is ranked 8th popular sportsman on social media with an amazing 96.9 million online followers via Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Of those footballers still playing professionally, only Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Neymar eclipse those numbers.
Everton will waste no time seeking to maximise the commercial opportunities of Rodriguez’s signing. The club will soon be opening a club HQ in North America in either Miami or California, where they are reaching out to Hispanic communities already interested in the large contingent of South American players such as Yerry Mina, Richarlison and Bernard.
But Ancelotti’s number one priority is the on-field impact. Having inherited a squad with promising but inexperienced players – and too many overpaid underperforming older ones – the Italian believes he has recruited someone with proven class.
“James, as everyone knows, is a fantastic player with a lot of quality and a lot of ability to make assists for the strikers,” said Ancelotti.
“He’s really excited about the project of the club and the fact we want to improve. He was really excited to sign and I didn’t spend time to convince him – he was already convinced.
“Players like James and Allan can help us to be better and we can help them to be better. This kind of connection can be helpful to improve the results, the team and results of this club.”