Carlo Ancelotti’s arrival at Everton paved the way for James Rodriguez to sign for the club, his former assistant Paul Clement has said.
Ancelotti, who has won three Champions League titles and domestic league trophies in four countries, joined Everton last December and has guided the Merseyside club to the top of the Premier League this season with four wins from five games.
Having worked under Ancelotti at Chelsea, Paris St Germain, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, Clement said it was the scale of the challenge that excited Ancelotti.
‘It’s like when he went to PSG,’ he told The Times in an interview.
‘There were bigger, better opportunities but it was exciting. It was good for PSG that someone of his profile could come and attract Thiago Silva, Zlatan (Ibrahimovic), Thiago Motta.
‘Those players come because they have a coach of that level. You’ve seen that at Everton already.
‘The signing of James Rodriguez doesn’t happen if Carlo is not there.’
Midfielder Rodriguez joined Everton from Real Madrid on a two-year deal last month and has already scored three goals and provided three assists.
‘Some of the existing players are stepping up, too,’ Clement added.
‘(Dominic) Calvert-Lewin is a great example. That’s what a good coach and manager does: they get that extra 10-15% out of the player that even they don’t know they have.’
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