Better than Burnley, but worse than West Ham United; that was the state of Everton 's attack in the Premier League last season per the goals scored column of the table.

The Blues finished 25 goals behind fourth-placed Chelsea, with a spot in the Champions League likely to be the ultimate long-term aim for Carlo Ancelotti upon his appointment at Goodison Park last December.

Players such as Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin offered hope but ultimately, the offensive game of the Toffees had a ceiling that was simply not high enough, with two goals or fewer scored in 34 of the 38 league fixtures played by Everton.

The new campaign is only two weeks old yet Ancelotti's outfit seem a lot more fluid going forward, with James Rodriguez in particular making a considerable difference to how the team advance towards the business end of the field.

The Columbian's impact has been typical of a player with his prestige, with his qualities having a natural and positive influence on how Everton pose a threat.

Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin have taken a combined total of 19 shots so far, which is the same number as Tottenham, Arsenal and Crystal Palace.

They are benefiting greatly from James' creation, with the 29-year-old generating seven attempts on goal for his teammates, placing him behind only Mohamed Salah.

His addition has been vaguely similar to that of Bruno Fernandes at Manchester United, with both players inclined to play high-risk penetrative passes to the mobile attackers positioned ahead of them.

Speaking about his usage of the South American, Ancelotti stated: “The quality of James makes it easy for him to play [in any league]. His football is not complicated. When he has space, he tries to use his quality on passes. When he has no space and he is under pressure, he tries to play simple."

James Rodriguez plays a lofted pass over the defence of West Brom for Richarlison to register an assist
James Rodriguez plays a lofted pass over the defence of West Brom for Richarlison to register an assist

Throughout his career, James had been a talent who has typically added around five to six shots to his team in every match considering his tendency to shoot roughly 2.5 times per 90, while producing about 3.5 shots per 90 for others.

It's very early days at Everton but the premature signals suggest that his numbers aren't going to take much of a hit in England.

If James manages to retain his ability to directly contribute around five shots to Everton's attacking game per match - considering the shots he takes himself and those he provides for others - that would equate to roughly 190 shots added over 38 matches.

It's not strictly as simple as that and James is highly unlikely to feature in every single contest but for perspective, Gylfi Sigurdsson contributed a total of 91 shots last season having played 28.4 full matches.

Must-read Everton FC news

At his current rate, if James plays 28.4 matches as Sigurdsson did last year, he'll present Everton with 142 shots. That is 51 more than his Icelandic teammate and considering the Blues scored once every 11 attempts last season, it could be worth a priceless amount of goals.

Meanwhile, Lucas Digne has created five shots for his teammates from left-back. The French defender - although he's only assisted one goal - is profiting from James' innate ability to switch the play from one flank to another.

James Rodriguez switches the play to Richarlison against Spurs
James Rodriguez switches the play to Richarlison against Spurs

He's played a total of 17 switches so far - with those defined as passes that travel more than 40 yards of the width of the pitch - which is the most in the Premier League and is effectively half of Everton's total of 36 as a team.

As a result of his switches from right to left, opportunities such as the one below tend to materialise, whereby the opposing full-back is presented with the combined threat of Richarlison cutting inside and Digne overlapping.

Richarlison and Lucas Digne present Matt Doherty with two problems to solve at once
Richarlison and Lucas Digne present Matt Doherty with two problems to solve at once

Those situations force defenders into managing two problems at once, but the Blues failed to manipulate such circumstances often enough last season. The Everton player who played the most switches last year was Digne himself, with James already accumulating 23% of his total after just 166 minutes on the field.

James is already proving to be a crucial member of Everton's attack and although it remains to be seen just how much of a boost he'll actually deliver over a 38-game campaign, his presence looks set to do a lot for Ancelotti in his quest for European football.