Carlo Ancelotti’s arrival at Everton was a major statement of intent from the club and they have just made another.
Ancelotti will work with Colombian superstar James Rodriguez at a third different club after his arrival at Goodison Park.
The signing of the playmaker from Real Madrid is a sign that Everton’s transfer policy has changed.
Since Farhad Moshiri’s takeover, they have largely spent premium prices on middling, unsuited players, but Rodriguez offers star quality.
But where does Rodriguez fit into Ancelotti’s plans?
The Italian boss preferred a 4-4-2 for much of last season and there is no obvious role for number 10 James within that.
That said, he could slot in on either side, perhaps cutting in from the right to get shots away.
Alternatively, Ancelotti could change his system to suit Rodriguez. His biggest strength is the ability to devise a gameplan to suit the players he has, rather than being fixed to a rigid formation or approach.
A switch to a 4-2-3-1 could work. That would likely see Abdoulaye Doucoure and Allan anchor midfield, with James granted a free role ahead of them.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin could lead the line, but it would mean Richarlison returning to the flank.
Rodriguez’s arrival hands Ancelotti options and there won’t be a manager with a more acute knowledge of how to get the best out of the playmaker than the Italian.
This writer expects to see Rodriguez on the right of a four-man midfield in a 4-4-2, at least to start with, but it will be intriguing to see what Ancelotti does with his new star man.