Darren Bent has claimed that James Rodriguez’s absence against Newcastle United could be a blessing in disguise for Everton.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Tottenham and England striker has suggested the 29-year-old could do with a break after his “superb” start to the season.
Carlo Ancelotti confirmed at his pre-match press conference that the Colombia international, as well as Seamus Coleman, would miss Sunday’s game through injury.
🤕 | No James Rodriguez or Seamus Coleman, as well as the suspended Richarlison and Lucas Digne, for the trip to @NUFC.
Jonjoe Kenny and Jarrad Branthwaite are back available. #NEWEVE
— Everton (@Everton) October 30, 2020
However, the Italian boss suggested that the attacking midfielder would be back available for the Toffees’ game against Manchester United.
Bent has lauded James for his electric start to life in the Premier League and has suggested a game off will do him the world of good.
Bent told Football Insider: “He needs a little bit of time because he did come straight in and hadn’t had much game time before that, but that’s testament to himself.
“He got himself in there, got himself in good shape and is playing at an extremely high level. A testament to himself, well played.
“He will be missed but maybe this bit of rest will help him, let him regather his legs a little bit. He’s been absolutely superb, he’s another one I questioned and thought how will he impact this Everton squad.
“To be fair to him, he’s been absolutely superb, arguably one of the best players in the league in his first few games. Well played to him.”
Rodriguez has started all six of Everton’s Premier League games since his move from Real Madrid this summer.
The Toffees will also be missing the suspended Richarlison and Lucas Digne against Newcastle.
In other Everton news, a big player update has left Football Insider delighted.