Editor's Note - This article has been updated with information from the UK Government's Quarantine Exemption list.
It’s looking like it will be a busy day today at Finch Farm as two players arrive for their medicals ahead of transfers to Everton.
Real Madrid’s Colombia international attacking midfielder and superstar in his own right James Rodriguez, and Napoli’s jack-of-all-trades midfielder Allan are both expected on Merseyside today to complete the formalities of their moves to the Toffees, but the only question on all Evertonian’s minds is going to be how soon the new signings can get on the pitch.
Both Rodriguez and Allan are in good physical condition having taken part in their respective previous team’s preseason conditioning camps, and as far as we know neither has picked up a knock in training so technically they are both in the same playing shape as their new Everton teammates.
However, as Arsenal have learned with their new signing Gabriel Magalhaes (who was totally committed to joining Everton, but.. you know..), new transfers coming in from most countries in continental Europe are subject to a 14-day quarantine due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Per the UK government's quarantine exemption list published on August 22nd, Italy and Portugal are both in the 'travel corridor' and as such anyone arriving from the two countries (assuming that is where the two players are coming from) will not have to self-quarantine.
There are fears that Portugal might go back on the quarantine list after a spike in COVID cases, but that would only apply to arrivals from this Thursday onwards.
Assuming that both new signings are on Merseyside today and then start training right away, they should both be eligible to open the season away at Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday 13th, with a Carabao Cup Second Round fixture likely on Wednesday 16th since they play on Sunday.
Again, since it’s unlikely the pair will have trained with the first team much before that, even if they join up with the first team right away, they will still be long shots to feature in that game. The Blues second Premier League fixture, the home opener against West Bromwich Albion, in normal times would mark the new players’ Goodison Park introduction to the fans.
Allan or Rodriguez should both be on the pitch in the royal blue shirt if the Toffees make it to Round Three of the Carabao Cup, also when the seven Premier League sides in European competition also join the tournament, and almost certainly be in the matchday squad for the trip to Crystal Palace on September 26th, a regular Saturday 3pm fixture.