Carlo Ancelotti gives a positive update on James Rodriguez as the Colombian almost comes back into action

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Carlo Ancelotti provides a positive update on James Rodriguez as the Colombian approaches his return to Everton action after six weeks due to a calf problem … while Jean-Philippe Gbamin could end his injury.

  • James Rodriguez has stepped up his training ahead of the Crystal Palace match
  • The Colombian has five goals and four assists in the Premier League this season
  • Rodriguez has spoken of his ‘father and son’ relationship with Carlo Ancelotti
  • Jean-Philippe Gbamin has been out since August 2019 due to a series of injuries
  • Ancelotti has also challenged Michael Keane to use his English stump as fuel
  • The 28-year-old was not in Gareth Southgate’s most recent international selection

Everton’s playmaker James Rodriguez is almost back in action ahead of Monday’s home game against Crystal Palace after being out for more than a month due to a calf problem, manager Carlo Ancelotti said.

Rodriguez, who has five goals and four assists in the league this season, last played in Everton’s 2-0 win over the Merseyside derby over Liverpool at Anfield on 20 February.

“James is in good shape and he trained well during the break,” Ancelotti said Friday. “It’s important for us to have him back to his best.

James Rodriguez last played for Everton in the 2-0 win over Liverpool on 20 February

James Rodriguez last played for Everton in the 2-0 win over Liverpool on 20 February

The Colombian was out with a calf problem and made an impression early on in the campaign

The Colombian was out with a calf problem and made an impression early on in the campaign

The Colombian was out with a calf problem and made an impression early on in the campaign

“He’s going to put more quality in our attacking game.”

Rodriguez spoke on the club’s official website earlier this week about his season so far and his hopes for the rest of the campaign, as well as his close relationship with Ancelotti.

“I have joined a good club, a club that wants to achieve great things,” said the Colombian.

‘I have a manager (Carlo Ancelotti) who knows exactly who I am. I get on really well with him, just like a father and son. ‘

Midfielder Jean-Philippe Gbamin will be available for the first time since August 2019 following recovery from serious hamstring and Achilles tendon injuries.

“We are very happy to have him back, but we have to take into account that he has not played for at least a year and a half,” said Ancelotti.

Jean-Philippe Gbamin only played twice for the Toffees before two major injuries sidelined him

Jean-Philippe Gbamin only played twice for the Toffees before two major injuries sidelined him

Jean-Philippe Gbamin only played twice for the Toffees before two major injuries sidelined him

Carlo Ancelotti will be happy to have men back as his side continues to push for Europe

Carlo Ancelotti will be happy to have men back as his side continues to push for Europe

Carlo Ancelotti will be happy to have men back as his side continues to push for Europe

“I don’t know if he will play on Monday, but he will certainly be available.”

Everton is eighth with 46 points after 28 games, while Palace is 12th with 37 points after 29 games.

Ancelotti has also challenged Michael Keane to use his England negligence as motivation for the remainder of the season.

Ancelotti has challenged Toffees center-back Michael Keane to use his England butt as fuel

Ancelotti has challenged Toffees center-back Michael Keane to use his England butt as fuel

Ancelotti has challenged Toffees center-back Michael Keane to use his England butt as fuel

The center-back was one of Everton’s best players this season, but didn’t do enough to convince Gareth Southgate to put him in the roster for the recent World Cup qualifiers.

However, Ancelotti said disapproval and the desire to play at Euro 2020 could benefit the player and the club.

‘I spoke to him. He trained really well, was focused and I told him there would still be a chance, ‘he said.

Harry Maguire and John Stones were the preferred pair during the three recent qualifiers

Harry Maguire and John Stones were the preferred pair during the three recent qualifiers

Harry Maguire and John Stones were the preferred pair during the three recent qualifiers

The fact that you’re not in the squad means you need to improve your quality to be more focused in the last 10 games, because at the end you want to be in the squad when Euro 2020 comes.

“Gareth Southgate is focused on games and if Michael does his best, he will be in the squad.”

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