Kenny tells Benitez to roll out the red carpet for Rodriguez - even when he skips Everton training for days
Everton boss Rafael Benitez must give James Rodriguez the freedom that Adel Taarabt was afforded at Queens Park Rangers.
That is according to ex-QPR goalkeeper Paddy Kenny, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about the 29-year-old Colombian playmaker.
Rodriguez’s future at Goodison is far from certain and the Daily Mail reported on 23rd June that he is being offered to clubs across Europe.
But that was before the appointment of Benitez on a three-year contract on 30th June.
Kenny urged the Spaniard, who has forged a reputation as a defence-first manager, to roll out the red carpet for Rodriguez.
He told Football Insider correspondent Adam Williams: “I’d like to think that Benitez can listen and make a space for him.
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“Sometimes these luxury players have got to have a place in the side. We had it at QPR with Adel Taarabt.
“Taarabt might miss training for a few days but we had to bite our tongues because we ended up winning the league and getting promoted.
“If he’s going to be part of Benitez’s team then they have to give him that way to play where he has that little bit of luxury as a player.
“He might not want to track back but when he does work his magic, he’s brilliant. I don’t see why he can do that for them next season.
“Sometimes you’ve got to find a system that lets you play the way you want to play but also gives you that little bit of freedom so he can produce the goods when needed.”
Rodriguez, who featured 26 times last season, joined Everton in September 2020 and is under contract until next summer.
The club has the option to extend his deal by another year.