REAL MADRID

James proving the doubters wrong

At Real Madrid there is disappointment over James' form in the Premier League, with questions being asked about Zidane's management of the Colombian playmaker.

James Rodríguez has exploded onto the scene in the Premier League since joining from Real Madrid. Three goals and three assists in five games has made him an early contender for Everton's fan favourite of 2020/21. Back at Real Madrid, there are club members who are showing their disappointment at Zinedine Zidane's management of the Colombian playmaker. Zidane also fell out of favour with Gareth Bale, who could make his debut this Sunday for Tottenham Hotspur.

But it is the start to James' Premier League life that has set alarm bells ringing. The English press have defined the situation as 'the theft of the century', alluding to the bargain The Toffees have picked up. The debate about his spectacular change has even reached his native Colombia, where Carlos Queiroz, the Colombian head coach, has expressed his opinion: "At Everton he plays like we do, with total freedom. It is his position, the place where he has stood out in since his time at Porto," he said, referring to the position of the No 10.

"Theft of the century"

The headline "theft of the century" was created by sports outlet Sporting Life. And it was made on the basis of his reported transfer to Merseyside for €25 million - a bargain for the creative attacking midfielder. However doubts still remain over this fee. The treasurer of Argentine club Banfield suggest a fee of that amount has yet to be agreed.

"The transfer was made as if it he was a free agent," explained Ignacio Uzquiza. "Unfortunately for us, but we have been informed that Banfield will not receive money for the transfer."

James, who earned €10 million net per season in the Spanish capital, has been forced to lower his salary to join the Premier League outfit.

Every good performance James has reminds the Bernabéu offices that there were important people from within the club who said he was great player all along. After just over 30 days, the Colombian has already proven every one of his doubters wrong and has been chosen in several XIs of the summer's best signings. He has been Man of the Match against Tottenham, West Bromwich, Crystal Palace and Brighton, and was nominated for Player of the Month in September. James' goals are added pressure for Zidane, who failed to get the best out of the Colombian.

Klopp: "The business of the summer"

Speaking to the BBC, Liverpool head coach Jurgen Klopp showed his appreciation for Carlo Ancelotti and James, ahead of Saturday's Merseyside derby. The German coach has huge admiration for his Italian counterpart. Klopp has admitted to his excitement after hearing that Ancelotti was taking over at Goodison Park."What I think about Carlo Ancelloti was never a secret. I couldn't respect him more. He's a wonderful human being. When I heard he was going to sign for Everton I thought, 'Uhhh, the next proper challenger in line'. They did the perfect business in the summer. They found exactly the players that they needed to improve an already pretty good football team. Together, getting more used to what Carlo wants them to do makes them a pretty strong team."