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Everton may find ideal James heir in Philippe Coutinho

Rafa Benitez has only been in the Everton hot seat for a matter of days but the transfer window is already shaping up to be a busy one.

The Spaniard has Ben White on his radar as the Toffees look to improve their defence but they could lose two of their most important players.

On the chalkboard

21-goal Dominic Calvert-Lewin has attracted the interest of both Manchester United and Real Madrid so Benitez will have to make a strong proposal to keep in Merseyside.

One man who looks more difficult to keep at Goodison Park is James Rodriguez. AC Milan are believed to be appealed by the Colombian while his former club, Real Madrid, haven’t been ruled out of the race either.

James has only spent 12 months with Everton after signing on a free transfer but could be heading out of the exit door following a rather mixed campaign.

The attacking midfielder made more key passes than other Toffees player and had a hand in ten Premier League goals during his debut season in England.

Should Everton sign Coutinho?

No way!

No way!

Yes please!

Yes please!

If he does go, they will evidently need to replace him. Only Calvert-Lewin and Gylfi Sigurdsson were involved in a higher percentage of their league goals for instance.

The solution

Everton have already started planning for life without James.

Earlier this week it was revealed that the Merseyside outfit have begun talks with Barcelona in a bid to bring the £240k-per-week Philippe Coutinho back to the Premier League.

Coutinho joined Liverpool back in 2013, leaving an Inter Milan side where he’d been coached by new Toffees boss, Benitez.

The 61-year-old is clearly keen on a reunion and an enquiry to sign him on loan has been lodged according to reports in Spain.

Despite being a former Red, it’s hard to deny just how good a signing this would be.

Although Everton would only have him for a year, he is proven in the Premier League and has the ability to brush aside defences with ease. Coutinho netted 54 goals and assisted 45 strikes during his previous spell in England.

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What year did Everton wear this home strip?

He is a marvel when it comes to scoring from range and his creative abilities are second to very few in the game.

Speaking about the Brazilian previously, Roberto Firmino commented: “He’s phenomenal. You simply can’t say that he’s not a magician. He has magical powers. He produces plays that don’t exist, that you couldn’t make up.”

Coutinho has endured a rough stay at Camp Nou. He played just 12 times last season but he did win the Champions League with Bayern Munich during a previous loan spell in 2019/20.

During that term, he was mightily impressive in the final third, recording 11 goals and nine assists.

Throughout his career, the Barcelona gem has produced 2.8 shots, 1.6 key passes and 1.9 dribbles per game. Those are numbers that James also impresses in; providing 1.8 shots, 2.2 key passes and one dribble per match with Porto, Real Madrid, Bayern, Colombia and Everton.

If the creative magician does leave England behind, there would be few better replacements than Coutinho.

AND in other news, Forget Dumfries: Rafa must consider Everton swoop for “unbelievable” £20m “soldier”…

Article title: Everton may find ideal James heir in Philippe Coutinho

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