Carlo Ancelotti is weighing up whether to start Everton’s trio of new arrivals against Spurs on Sunday, with James Rodriguez, Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure all fit and available to feature in north London.
Manager Ancelotti, who insisted Everton have acquired a “complete midfielder” in Frenchman Doucoure, identified the three players as his priority targets ahead of the forthcoming Premier League campaign.
Allan’s capture last Saturday triggered a frantic four days which saw star forward James and Doucoure follow the Brazilian into Goodison Park.
Former Napoli midfielder Allan, capped nine times by his country, Colombian James, signed from Real Madrid, and Doucoure are all vying for spots in Ancelotti’s Everton team when the Italian begins his first full season in charge at Spurs this weekend.
“They are all in good condition and I am happy they have no problems,” Ancelotti told evertonfc.com.
“They have trained all week and are ready to play.
“I don’t know if they are able to play 90 minutes – or if they are going to start – but they are available.
“Allan and Doucoure were training at their clubs before coming here, so were already in good shape physically.
“James started to fully train this week but he is fit.”
Doucoure completed his transfer from Watford on Tuesday, signing a three-year deal with a Club option for a fourth season.
Ancelotti insists the 27-year-old will add mobility and stamina and “character” to Everton’s midfield, mirroring the words of the player who has declared his intention to bring energy and goals to Goodison.
Doucoure played 129 Premier League games and scored 17 goals in four seasons with Watford.
He has top-flight experience in France and Spain with Rennes and Granada respectively.
“Abdoulaye is a fantastic midfielder, a complete midfielder” said Ancelotti.
“He can defend well. He is a box-to-box midfielder.
“He can bring energy to the Club and a different quality.
“We don’t have midfielders with his kinds of characteristics.
“We have midfielders with quality and midfielders who are tactically good.
“He [Doucoure] is the only one who is box-to-box.
“I know him really well, what he did with Watford.
“He is a player with strong character and he uses that in games.
“These are the reasons he is a good signing for us.
“He is going to improve the quality of our squad.”
Ancelotti began his managerial career 25 years ago, leading Reggiana to promotion from Serie B following a storied playing career and time as assistant to Italian national team boss Arrigo Sacchi.
The 61-year-old, twice a European Cup winner as a midfielder in AC Mlian’s superlative team of the late Eighties and early Nineties, has had a staggering amount of success in the intervening years with clubs including Milan, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain.
But Ancelotti, whose team host West Bromwich Albion in their first home Premier League fixture next Saturday, insists his emotions on the eve of a new season are no different from those he’s experienced since starting with Reggiana in 1995.
“What I enjoy most about this time is it is only two days until we start important games,” said Ancelotti.
“They will be difficult games but we will be ready to fight.
“My feelings [before a new season] are always the same.
“The matches are coming, your stress grows and your emotions grow.
“It is always the same."
Ancelotti added: “What our supporters want, first of all, is for the team to fight until the last minute in every game.
“Second, they want to be competitive.
“I think, and hope, and we are working on this – we can be competitive this season in all the games, for every minute until the last game.”