Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti was full of praise for James Rodriguez after their 4-2 victory over Brighton.
The Toffees extended their perfect start to the season on Saturday with an impressive 4-2 against Graham Potter’s side.
They took an early lead through Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who scored his ninth goal in just six outings this season.
Brighton were gifted a way back into the game when Jordan Pickford let slip a simple catch. The ball dropped right to Neal Maupay, who stabbed it home from close range.
But Everton retook the lead moments before the break thanks to a goal from Yerry Mina.
Ancelotti’s men continued their dominance throughout the second half. Rodriguez scored twice for Everton to secure the three points, which topped off another fine performance for him personally.
The former Real Madrid midfielder has immediately hit the ground running with Everton. From his five outings in all competitions, he has scored three and has three assists.
Speaking post-match, Ancelotti suggested players of elite-quality like Rodriguez do not need time to adapt to new surroundings:
“The players with quality [do not] have a problem [settling in]. The quality is there because football is not so complicated.
“The pitch is always the same, the opponents are always eleven, the ball is the same, the goal doesn’t move. Football is simple.”
New signings Rodriguez, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Allan have hit the ground running. But Calvert-Lewin has perhaps been Ancelotti’s most impressive player so far.
The Englishman has had a lot of doubters during his time at the club. Prior to this season, he had scored just 32 goals from his 134 appearances in all competitions for the Toffees.
His career has hit new heights since Ancelotti took over. His form has been rewarded with his first England senior call-up. Calvert-Lewin spoke of his excitement at being included in Gareth Southgate’s squad after the Brighton win:
“I’ve got such self-belief at the moment. I’ve never stopped believing I could get to this level.
“James is a top player. You can see the quality he has got on the ball and he thoroughly deserved his two goals.
“I’m now looking forward to going away with England. It’s something I’ve dreamed about for a long time. Hopefully, I can go there and make my mark.”