Everton training takeaways: James Rodriguez returns & a Calvert-Lewin fitness hint

Everton training takeaways: James Rodriguez returns & a Calvert-Lewin fitness hint


A number of noteworthy takeaways have been forthcoming on the personnel front at Everton on Thursday.

The Benitez era underway

The Toffees have of course enjoyed an altogether positive start to the new campaign.

On the back of Rafael Benitez’s installation on the club’s bench, Everton have thus far looked solid if unspectacular, notching 7 points from an available 9 in the Premier League.

Not only that, but the Merseysiders booked their spot in the 3rd round of the EFL Cup, courtesy of a 2-1 downing of Huddersfield Town.

Everton training takeaways: James Rodriguez returns & a Calvert-Lewin fitness hint

BRIGHTON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 28: Demarai Gray of Everton in action during the Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Everton at American Express Community Stadium on August 28, 2021 in Brighton, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Next up for Benitez and co., meanwhile, comes a Premier League meeting with Burnley at Goodison Park.

The Blues will no doubt be confident in their chances of keeping alive their solid start to the campaign up against Sean Dyche’s outfit, with the Clarets having managed just a solitary point from their own three fixtures to date.

Rodriguez returns/DCL boost

And, as outlined above, on Thursday, a series of significant personnel updates have been forthcoming at Everton’s Finch Farm training ground.

The first surrounds Colombian international James Rodriguez.

Midfield talent Rodriguez is of course yet to feature for the Toffees this season, amid widespread reports over the summer that the 30-year-old has been identified as surplus to requirements by new boss Benitez.

This afternoon, though, for the first time in some time, James was spotted back in training with the rest of the club’s squad.

Could a debut season appearance be forthcoming versus Burnley?

Next up comes more positive news for the Merseysiders, in the form of the return to fitness of Ben Godfrey.

Stopper Godfrey, like Rodriguez, is yet to take to the pitch in 2021/22, albeit as a result of injury concerns.

On Thursday, though, he was pictured heavily involved alongside the rest of Benitez’s men, hinting at an imminent return to matchday duties.

Perhaps even more significant than Godfrey’s presence in the latest round of training photos posted by Everton, though, was that of star hitman Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

After being forced to pull out of international duty with England due to a thigh problem, DCL was swiftly labelled as a doubt to feature versus Burnley.

As showcased below, though, the in-form attacker was well enough to play at least some part at Finch Farm today, boding well ahead of next Monday’s clash:


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Aminat Aigbe

Aminat Aigbe is the first lady of afronaija and a very good blogger ( Original Mrs AfroNaija )

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