A number of Everton fans on Twitter have waxed lyrical about Toffees director of football Marcel Brands after he admitted that James Rodriguez joined the Goodison Park outfit on a free.
The Colombia international joined Everton from Real Madrid in September, linking up once again with Carlo Ancelotti, a manager with whom he has a great working relationship.
James has been superb for the Blues, with 14 appearances, three goals and five assists under his belt in all competitions this season.
Everton were top of the Premier League table earlier this season and, after 17 games played, remain in contention for the title – just four points off top spot – with James a key component of this superb form.
And on Thursday, Brands confirmed at the club’s virtual Annual General Meeting – as transcribed by the Liverpool Echo – that James didn’t pay Real Madrid a transfer fee for the 2014 World Cup icon’s signature.
“It was one of the most difficult and weirdest transfer windows ever,” he said. “The pandemic was clearly involved in this transfer window. We finished the window with a squad of 27 players -a little bit more than originally planned.
“We signed six new players. Three on a permanent transfer – Allan, Doucoure and Ben Godfrey. One on a free – James Rodriguez. One on a training compensation – Nkounkou. And one loan without a loan fee – Robin Olsen.”
Plenty of Toffees fans on social media loved what they heard from Brands, praising his summer window masterstroke:
The 3 greatest @premierleague bargains of all time 1) James Rodriguez (free) 2) Tim Cahill (£1.5m) 3) Mikel Arteta (£2m)…….not even a debate
— Glyn Dixon (@GlynSpex) January 14, 2021
Genius. Pure genius. What was the agent fee though lol
— Paul Lightley (@PaulLightley) January 14, 2021
Build him a statue
— Calum Darren Moore (@CalumDMoore) January 14, 2021
— Andrew Millington (@AndrewMilington) January 14, 2021
— Nick (@Nick_Sofabits) January 14, 2021
Remember doing the James Rodriguez free transfer story in the summer and doubting it so much. Brands now confirming it’s fact. How on earth did he pull that off?
— Sean Lunt (@Sean_Lunt) January 14, 2021
Everton spent £60.5million last summer to bring in Allan, Abdoulaye Doucoure, Ben Godfrey and Niels Nkounkou.