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Ancelotti update on Everton’s January transfer window outlook

Manager’s comments ahead of FA Cup clash against Rotherham tomorrow

Everton Training Session Photo by Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images

Everton are in FA Cup action tomorrow against Championship side Rotherham United, with manager Carlo Ancelotti addressing the media ahead of the Third Round clash.

Burnley manager Sean Dyche has recently suggested that the Premier League players be among the first to get vaccinated which would then allow funds for the testing of teams to go towards the NHS. Ancelotti was asked what he thought of the suggestion.

“It’s an idea, but I think the country is vaccinating those are most vulnerable. As sportsmen we are following a protocol for this. It’s true there has been a situation with some cases among players, but I think we are quite safe following this protocol and I think those who are most vulnerable need to be vaccinated first.

“Honestly we feel safe, it’s outside the bubble where it is not so.”

With cases among players rising, there has been suggestions of a ‘pause’, did Ancelotti feel that it was getting too dangerous to play football right now?

“As I said before, I think the protocol that is in place is really good, we feel quite safe. It is true the infection rate is growing in this period, but football has to continue. This particular period is very important for the people to have football on TV to watch.

“With no cinema, no theatre, I feel football can be really helpful in this period.”

How do you feel about the Everton in the Community efforts under the ‘Blue Family’ umbrella to try and help the Merseyside community at large?

“I’m really impressed by the work that the club is doing with this campaign. I think during this pandemic the club has helped over 27,000 families, so I think this is a big, big achievement.

“We are all involved in this and are really pleased to do this.”

Everton’s home form since Ancelotti joined the club is among the best in the league, but the Blues have stuttered recently going out of the Carabao Cup in the quarterfinals against Manchester United and then succumbing to a 1-0 loss against West Ham United on New Year’s Day.

“This is absolutely true, but it’s also two different games. Against Man United the strategy was to defend, against West Ham we were not so fit in front.

“The fact that Lucas Digne is back and James Rodriguez is back, we are going to improve our offensive quality.”

Ben Godfrey has been a revelation to Blues, showing off his tenacity and versatility across the backline except at the centrehalf position, which arguably is his true spot.

“I think Ben is a fantastic signing for us because he is able to play in different positions. In modern football it is really important to have players that can play in different positions. He has not played centre back yet but he is going to play in that position tomorrow.

“The fact that he played really well at left back while Digne was out was really important for us. I was really really impressed just as everyone was about his performances.”

When asked on his thoughts about the club’s activity for the January transfer window, Ancelotti remained mostly noncommittal.

“At the moment we are thinking that players who didn’t get to play much so far like Jarrad Branthwaite can maybe go on loan for six months.

“There are no players that came to us and asked to leave, and we are not at this moment thinking to sign new players.

“If a player is not happy to stay and wants to leave we are open to talk to them, but at the moment no players have asked to leave.”

Yerry Mina has been much better since his return to the side, what has improved in his game?

“The key factor in the good performances of Mina has been that first of all he improved his physical condition. He did not travel during the international break and that helped his fitness.

“Secondly, the team is defending better, the work of the midfielders is better in this moment and our defenders are safer. The third is that Yerry is a really humble guy and wants to learn, and he is really focused on what he wants to do.”