Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti insists James Rodriguez has not been distracted by this summer’s Copa America after a disappointing end to the campaign.
The Colombia playmaker missed Wednesday’s game against Wolves due to “fatigue” and has made just 26 appearances in his first season after being troubled by a calf injury which will keep him out of their final fixture against champions Manchester City.
He scored six goals and recorded four assists in 23 Premier League appearances.
“James unfortunately is not available for the game. He didn’t recover from the problem on his calf,” said Ancelotti.
“Unfortunately he didn’t finish the season well and now he will be focused to prepare for the Copa America with the national team.
“I think the Copa America is in his mind when the season finished. To say James was focused on the Copa America before now.. no.
“James was really disappointed for the fact he was not able to help the team in this final part of the season and was really sad. But what can he do?
“He has to be ready when the season starts and try to avoid the problem he had this season.
“I hope to have him soon next season fit and at his best.”
Ancelotti will also be without captain Seamus Coleman for the trip to City after he sustained an injury in midweek.
The Italian has had a number of fitness issues to contend with this season and this summer he will also look to improve a squad which has been wildly inconsistent.
“The plan is clear and also the profile of player that we need is clear for everyone, so we have to work on it,” he added.
“The profile is a winger that is able to score goals, is able to defend, that is able to sacrifice, that is able to put crosses in.
“This kind of player is not easy to find but if you look at the market and the players around the world, there are really a lot of good players around the world.”
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