Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti has dismissed rumours that star playmaker James Rodriguez is struggling to cope with the harsh weather on Merseyside, describing the player as ‘confident and motivated’.
Rodriguez, 29, signed for Everton from Real Madrid last summer on a free transfer. He has five goals and three assists to his name so far this season, a tally that might have been more impressive had he not endured a lengthy spell on the sidelines due to a calf issue.
There is a school of thought that it will take time for Rodriguez, who had never played in England before joining the Toffees, to acclimatise to his surroundings, but Ancelotti insists the Colombian has settled in perfectly.
“He’s ok he has no problem,” Ancelotti told the BBC ahead of the Merseyside derby tomorrow.
“I talk to him every day. He’s confident and motivated.
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“He had a little problem with his calf in the past few games but now is in good condition.
“He feels really good here because everyone takes care of him. And that’s it.
“I don’t know if he complains about the weather. We know it is not the best weather but there are a lot of good things in this area.”
Everton have only won one of their last six league games, forcing them to temper their expectations slightly after a red hot start to the campaign in which Rodriguez played a starring r0le.
On Wednesday, they became the latest team to be swatted aside by the Manchester City juggernaut, losing 3-1 thanks to goals from Phil Foden, Riyad Mahrez and Bernado Silva.
They will look to steer their charge for the top four back on track against Liverpool on Saturday, who themselves have been out-of-sorts recently. Jurgen Klopp’s men did, however, manage to secure a 2-0 away win against RB Leipzig in the Champions League on Tuesday, meaning morale and confidence may be restored going into the derby.