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‘A strong connection’ – Claudio Ranieri tips Everton for greatness as long as this pairing are kept together

Although Everton are down in sixth position in the Premier League table at present and are eight points off of leaders, Manchester United, the Toffees do still have two games in hand.

Win those and a two-point gap to the summit isn’t insurmountable.

Claudio Ranieri is certainly tipping Everton for greatness if the club can keep hold of both James Rodriguez and manager, Carlo Ancelotti.

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“James has thrown himself into this new adventure at Everton with so much enthusiasm and is really expressing himself on the pitch,” the former Leicester manager, who worked with James at Monaco, said on Everton’s official website.

“An intelligent, top player can quickly find solutions to adapt to a brand of football that is different from what he’s used to.

“He’s an international footballer who’s represented some of the biggest clubs in Europe, so he is excellent at adapting.

“James has incredible technical ability, which you can see straightaway when he is on the ball.

“When he plays between the lines, he adds an element of unpredictability to the move and can play the pass the defender least expects.

“He has a great shot and fantastic timing breaking into the box. His free kicks are another dangerous weapon.

“It was no coincidence he reached double figures in the scoring charts at Monaco.

“He has a strong connection with Carlo, who got the best out of him at Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, and it is going brilliantly for them this season.

“It is hard to make predictions but this duo has achieved incredible things in the past and there’s no reason to think they can’t do so again with the Toffees.”

Certainly, Everton has as good a chance as any club at acquiring some silverware this season.

The Merseysiders are playing with a freshness and freedom that typifies the Ancelotti style, and within the framework of the team, the Italian is getting the best out of James.

How Zinedine Zidane, his former manager at Real Madrid, could do with him now given how poorly Los Blancos are doing under his stewardship.

More Stories Carlo Ancelotti Claudio Ranieri James Rodriguez Zinedine Zidane