Kevin Phillips has tipped new signings James Rodriguez and Abdoulaye Doucoure to start for Everton today against Tottenham.
The 2000 European Golden Shoe winner, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, claimed that Rodriguez, 29, may struggle to adapt to the speed of the Premier League and suggested Carlo Ancelotti refrain from selling any midfielders until he has seen his new signings play.
The Toffees announced the signings of three midfielders this month after Allan, James Rodriguez and Doucoure all put pen to paper on long-term contracts on Merseyside.
Ancelotti’s side travel to Spurs this afternoon and all three new recruits are in line to make their debuts despite having had a relatively small amount of time with the squad.
Phillips urged Ancelotti not to make a decision on the futures of Fabian Delph, Tom Davies and Gylfi Sigurdsson until after he had seen his new signings in a competitive fixture.
“You are probably looking at Gomes, Rodriguez and Doucoure as the three to start,” he told Football Insider. “That is a very strong midfield.
“I think it will take Rodriguez a while to settle into the pace of the Premier League so I wouldn’t let players leave until we see have the first two or three games go for Everton. It will be interesting to see how Rodriguez copes.
“There will certainly be a sacrifice, whether it be Fabian Delph, young Tom Davies or Sigurdsson. But I would not be in a rush to get rid of any of them, not until we see how the new signings work together in a competitive match.”
The Athletic reported that MLS side D.C. United have held talks with the Iceland international over a potential transfer.
Sigurdsson still has two years remaining on his contract at Goodison Park.
In other Everton news, top pundit touts new defensive signing after “fantastic” squad development.