James: All I Want To Do Is Help Everton

Everton's new South American star James Rodriguez is backing his “talent and ability” to enable a smooth introduction to the physically demanding Premier League.

The forward’s transfer from Real Madrid last week generated enormous worldwide interest and James showed what all the fuss was about with an exquisite Everton debut display in Sunday’s victory over Tottenham Hotspur.

But while James’s wizardry on the ball in north London came as little surprise – even coming off a 12-week break from competitive action – his willingness to get stuck in equally went down well with his new teammates.

The 29-year-old, who created five chances – more than any player on their English top division debut in six years – added four interceptions and recovered possession five times.

And James, who has top-flight experience in Portugal, France, Spain and Germany, insists his graft-plus-craft performance against Spurs set a template for his campaign.

“All I want to do is help out everyone the best I can, so my teammates feel like I am very much one of them,” said James.

“I’ve not come here in any way to be like the big star, not at all.

“I just want to do my bit to help and I want everyone to see I am hungry to win trophies.

“Football is the same game wherever you go in the world.

“It’s true that it’s a lot more physical and a harder style here [England]. That’s something I have to learn.

“But when you have quality and talent yourself, that makes everything seem easier.

"I’m just like anyone else in the squad and I just want to be able to do my best to help the Club go as far as possible.”

James achieved global superstardom following a series of outstanding games for Colombia at the 2014 World Cup.

He won the tournament’s Golden Boot as top scorer and subsequently joined Real Madrid, where he began like a steam train, contributing directly to 26 goals in his first La Liga campaign.

Trace James’ career to its outset, however, and underpinning his goals and creativity is a frightening work ethic.

Stories of his extra-curricular training were legion as he made a senior debut aged 14 for Envigado in Colombia, then left home aged 16 to play for Argentine club Banfield.

He remained faithful to his assiduous approach with Porto after joining in 2010, then at Monaco for one season before switching to Madrid.

The player, who also had two productive years on loan in Germany with Bayern Munich, was never likely, then, to be disconcerted by the Premier League's hustle and bustle.

James arrived sounding an intent to compete for honours and after seeing his new colleagues first hand, in training and during the 1-0 success at Spurs, he insists he was right to feel confident.

“I can see that there is a lot of quality at the Club and lots of talent among the players,” said James.

“I’ve been able to see that in the past five days, so it’s good the Club has all this.

“All I do is try to help out so the team can win games. If I can do that by scoring goals and providing assists, then that’s great.

“Football isn’t all about running. That’s why goals are worth their weight in gold.

“It is about running to a certain degree, of course, but you also need to be able to think and know when to play the right pass.


“When you have talent and ability and when you know you can play, it makes everything so much easier.”

James fired three shots at goal against Spurs and was within a whisker of a debut strike when he sent a 25-yard effort skipping past the post.

Everton ultimately bagged the points when Lucas Digne drilled in a free-kick for Dominic Calvert-Lewin to flash his header past the static Hugo Lloris.

“It’s great to have started like this against a tough opponent,” added James.

“We have it in us to do well and it’s about keeping going from day to day so we can achieve big and exciting things.”