The Rafa Benitez era at Everton hasn’t quite started with a bang but the Spaniard finally has his first signing at Goodison Park under his belt.
They welcomed Andros Townsend to the Toffees on Tuesday afternoon but in the midst of that excitement comes a potentially lusty blow to their ambitions.
Both James Rodriguez and Richarlison have both been linked with the departure lounge this summer.
The Colombian has attracted interest from AC Milan with the player’s agent, Jorge Mendes, meeting with the Italian side.
It’s also been reported that the club’s previous manager, Carlo Ancelotti, wants to bring Richarlison to Real Madrid.
It looked like the former would actually stay but a fresh claim from Eurosport reveals that both are seeking exits from the club this summer.
The heart-breaking news suggests that the Everton pair are looking for moves to Spain.
If Benitez loses two of the club’s most influential players in the same window then it will be a colossal blow to their hopes of finishing in the European places. Consequently, it should also leave supporters rather angry.
James has only been with the Toffees for the best part of 12 months but he made a brilliant impact in Merseyside.
The former Madrid star was a creative force and also popped up with some important goals. During his first term in English football, he provided six strikes and four assists. On top of that, no player managed more than his 1.7 key passes per match in the Everton side.
As for their Brazilian winger, only Dominic Calvert-Lewin beat the goalkeeper on more occasions.
Richarlison scored seven Premier League goals before becoming a regular for his national team at the recent Copa America.
Both players provided plenty of help to their top scorer last term and ensured that Ancelotti had a dynamic pairing to work with in the final third.
They worked in tandem nicely together but that could be demolished heading into the 2021/22 campaign.
With supporters given the green light to return to stadiums next season, it will surely enrage those who didn’t get to catch a glimpse of James in Everton colours.
Instead, they will make to make do with watching the likes of Townsend and possibly Demarai Gray.