Everton’s record in the transfer market has been far from perfect during the reign of owner Farhad Moshiri, and one particular signing may have left him with more regrets than most.
The Toffees brought former Porto, Monaco and Bayern Munich playmaker James Rodriguez to the club on a free transfer after he was released by Real Madrid, but things didn’t go to plan for the 30-year-old.
It was hoped that Rodriguez’s arrival would add some world-class ability to Carlo Ancelotti’s workmanlike squad, with the highly-decorated duo expected to bring European football back to Goodison Park.
However, despite making a fast start to life on Merseyside, the Colombia international soon faded as Everton finished last season in 10th position, and then quickly followed his former mentor out of the exit door after Ancelotti returned to the Spanish capital.
Rodriguez’s short spell with the Blues arguably sums up their recent fortunes in the transfer market perfectly.
First, there was the big outlay on his yearly salary of £7.2m, then came the hope after a handful of outstanding displays before the inevitable disappointment resulted in false promises and an unglamorous exit.
And now, journalist Paul Brown has had his say on the latest transfer nightmare that Moshiri endured, claiming the South American gem failed to live up to expectations at Everton.
Brown told GIVEMESPORT: “I think Everton shot for the stars hoping James would get them into Europe.
“James signed for Carlo Ancelotti, but then he left, and it quickly became obvious that because he hadn’t really played much towards the end of the season, he was going to be a casualty of the cost control measures.
“It’s a transfer that didn’t work, ultimately, because he was there to get them into Europe.
“They didn’t get into Europe, and he didn’t play enough towards the end of last season, so I don’t think you can say too many great things about the club on it from that point of view,” he concluded.
After scoring three goals and providing a further three assists in his first six Premier League games for Everton, Rodriguez added just a further five goal contributions in his subsequent 17 outings.
He then began Rafa Benitez’s tenure in the worst way possible, not playing and then admitting he didn’t even know who the club’s opponents were.
The £140,000-per-week gem then became the first casualty of Benitez’s new era, marking yet another failed attempt to bridge the gap to the top-flight’s ‘Big Six’.