By Matthew Shaw

11th Oct, 2021 | 8:00am

James Rodriguez exit won't lead to Everton splashing cash

Greg O’Keeffe has insisted that the exit of James Rodriguez won’t ensure that Everton can splash the cash in January.

The Financial Fair Play rules were a real concern before the Colombian left, and although eased, they are still lingering in the background.

The Athletic journalist shared that the Toffees won’t just be splashing upwards of £50million on players after getting rid of the likes of Rodriguez.

Writing in an Athletic Mailbag, O’Keeffe shared what was on the agenda for the upcoming January window in Merseyside.

“There are gaps at right-back and more convincing cover is required for the massively influential Abdoulaye Doucoure in midfield,” he wrote. “Benitez clearly wanted more options out wide, too.

“It’s unlikely all those issues will be resolved in January. But getting James Rodriguez off the wage bill was always going to be integral to Everton’s ability to invest in future windows.

“It doesn’t mean they can now go and drop £50million on one player, though — there is still plenty of pruning required before their difficult situation with financial fair play is significantly eased.

“I’m confident that, with Benitez spending that money, there will be less damaging wastefulness in the transfer market going forward.”

Smart.

Rafa Benitez won’t be expecting huge sums of money from the club, but he will likely want more than he had in the summer.

The Spaniard has worked wonders with mainly free transfers and the £1.7million spent on Demarai Gray, so we are confident he can do more over the New Year.

Plugging the clear gaps in the defence, midfield and attack will hand Benitez the squad depth needed to make a real push for Europe in the second half of the season.

There are no major complaints about the starting XI, but the questions really start coming once one of those starters picks up an injury.

We expect Marcel Brands to be busy, whether or not it will be with big money to spend, the question is still in the air.

In other Everton news, the Toffees want to sign colossal defender, inquiries made after Euro scout mission – report

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