Everton midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson said he sees no problem in sharing a role in the side with James Rodriquez, speaking to Sky Sports.

Both midfielders prefer to operate in a creative role behind the striker.

Rodriquez was signed from Real Madrid in the summer because of his inventiveness and ingenuity in the role, while Sigurdsson is no stranger to being a ‘false number nine’.

Between them, the players have provided 15 assists and 11 goals this season.

Rare starts together

However, in the system Carlo Ancelotti prefers, there’s only room for one false nine.

More often than not, that has led the manager to push Rodriquez out to the right flank to allow Sigurdsson to slot in centrally.

The pair have played 17 times together for Everton in 2020/21, although they have rarely started in the same XI.

Sharing with Sigurdsson

Despite jostling for the position, Sigurdsson said he could easily work in tandem with Rodriguez rather than competing with him.

The Iceland international said: “I feel we can play in the same team – and I’m sure the manager thinks so too as we’ve played some games together.

“Obviously we can’t play in the same position so we’re going to have to work around that.”

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(Photo by Tony McArdle – Everton FC/Everton FC via Getty Images)

And in a clear statement that eradicates any notion of jealousy, Sigurdsson was quick to praise Rodriguez.

 

The Icelander said: “He’s fantastic on the ball. Technically very good, can see passes no-one else sees and has an eye for goal.

“We’re players who aren’t going to be playing out wide with much pace.

“You’d expect someone like Alex Iwobi or Richarlison, with more pace and with the ability to be more direct running with the ball, to be out wide.”

And there’s no reason the two players can’t share a role on the pitch. Ancelotti used both Sigurdsson and Rodriquez as false nines to good effect against Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Sigurdsson said: “In the Wolves game, we both played as ‘strikers’, which was a bit different for both of us as we’ve hardly played in that position. But we ended up coming away with a win.

“I feel it’s more than possible – and I think both of us believe that.”

Change from Carlo

Ancelotti has chopped and changed his forward line regularly this season.

Despite the success against Wolves, the manager used Sigurdsson alone in the withdrawn role against Fulham, which ended in disappointing defeat.

However, the Italian’s constant chopping and changing has largely benefited Everton.

More than that, Ancelotti has been able to keep star players Sigurdsson and Rodriquez happy.

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