Darren Bent has been left gutted after James Rodriguez was confirmed to have been ruled out for Everton against Chelsea.

The former Tottenham and England striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, has insisted the Toffees need the Colombia international to get back to his best soon and that to have him missing will be a “humongous blow”.

As confirmed by Carlo Ancelotti, the 29-year-old will sit out against the Blues as he joins Fabian Delph and Seamus Coleman on the sidelines at Goodison Park.

The former Real Madrid star has failed to start just one of the Toffees’ Premier League games – the 2-1 defeat to Newcastle United – this season.

Bent has admitted Rodriguez has not been at his best of late but that losing him will still be a bitter pill for Ancelotti to swallow.

Bent told Football Insider: “It’ll be a big, big blow, a humongous blow because the way he’s started the season, everyone was like: ‘Wow, this is the guy, this is the guy, this could be the guy to take me Everton to the next level, he is superb.’

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“People couldn’t speak highly enough of him. Now all of a sudden, he’s kind of gone a little bit, probably not where he would have liked to have been and Everton are like: ‘Well hold on a second here.’ It’s about him getting back to his absolute best.

“It’s quite concerning down there at Everton at the minute, with their form, because their form seems to have completely gone.” 

Mat

Rodriguez has scored three times and chipped in with a further three assists for Everton in the league this season.

Gylfi Sigurdsson stepped into his place when the Colombian maestro was injured against Newcastle.

In other Everton news, Gabby Agbonlahor claims opposition players are targeting one Toffees star.