If indeed Everton do finally get their hands on both James Rodriguez and Allan, how might these players help Carlo Ancelotti’s tactics evolve next season?
We are still of course waiting for final confirmation that these two deals have been successfully completed and Everton have signed the two South American stars.
Assuming that eventually both players do arrive from La Liga and Serie A retrospectively, how might manager Carlo Ancelotti’s tactics change and evolve during the next campaign?
The Blues boss after going with a basic 4-4-2 for most of the latter half of the 2019-20 season, ended up experimenting with a variety of tactical formations towards the back end of last season, including reverting to predecessor Marco Silva’s oft-used 4-2-3-1.
He has used different systems in his time as a manager and is in typically Italian style, a pragmatic man, so he is willing to tailor his formations to the players and league he is coaching in.
It seems clear that as well as seeking to bring in Rodriguez and Allan because they are very good footballers, he wants these players as their qualities can give him additional flexibility.
Although Ancelotti might ideally like to play a 4-4-2, Rodriguez for example is not really a wide midfielder or winger lacking the pace for that position, so he wouldn’t fit ideally into an orthodox four-man midfield.
It would be a little like playing Gylfi Sigurdsson out there, which Ancelotti did at times last season to very little success, although obviously Rodriguez is a much better all-round player.
Brazilian star Allan would be very happy to play 4-4-2 and indeed regularly did when he was a Napoli player under Ancelotti.
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Both these players though could also play very effectively and comfortably in other formations and this will give the Everton coach more options.
Allan is a player who could operate as a deeper-lying midfielder and given his qualities, he might play in a central two perhaps alongside Andre Gomes. Or he could play as the holding player in a three-man midfield.
Allan’s South American colleague Rodriguez would also be better utilised in a more flexible formation where he can properly exploit his outstanding technique, range of passing and goal-scoring ability.
So he can line-up either playing wider in a 4-3-3/4-3-1-2 or 4-2-3-1, or perhaps playing as a Number 10 playmaker-type. Being left-footed he could play either on the left or right to cut inside.
Anyway enough of all these lines of numbers! The point is these two players can give Ancelotti much more choice and freedom in how he lines up his team when the new Premier League campaign begins in just under two weeks time. That might just help the Blues get an edge in some vital games next season.