By Alex McLeish

10th Sep, 2020 | 8:00pm

Exclusive: McLeish makes shock James Rodriguez claim after Everton deal is done

Alex McLeish has made the shock claim that joining Everton is the “biggest move” of James Rodriguez’s career.

The former Scotland manager, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, claims that the playmaker is yet to live up to the expectation set on his shoulders at global giants Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.

Everton confirmed they had secured the signing of the Colombia international on Monday evening after the 29-year-old put pen to paper on a two-year deal.

The club hold an optional contract clause to extend the attacking midfielder’s stay at Goodison by an extra year.

Having seen the Colombian ace fall down the pecking order at Real Madrid and struggle to regularly deliver at Bayern, McLeish suggests James’ move to Goodison Park is his chance to prove himself.

McLeish told Football Insider: “I think he’s got it all to prove. I keep reading that James is going to do this, going to do that – we have yet to be convinced of that.

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“He’s certainly, on paper, a tremendous player. I loved to see him when he came on the scene. I wouldn’t say he’s failed at the other clubs but he hasn’t quite had the impact that you would expect James to have had given the publicity and expectation levels.

“This has got to be the biggest move of his career in terms of his reputation. We know he’s a tremendous footballer, can he bring something to Everton playing against all those top teams, top defenders, that he never brought to Real Madrid or Bayern?

“I think he needs to show at this club he’s the player that everybody believes he was.” 

James played a total of 125 times for Real Madrid during his time with the Spanish giants, although he only made 14 appearances last season.

Having been signed on a two-year loan by Ancelotti at Bayern Munich, he scored 15 goals and contributed 20 assists in 67 games.

In other Everton news, McLeish has made a big transfer claim about Ancelotti.