James Rodriguez situation has remained unresolved over the last three years. No concrete decision has been made on his career, as the Colombian continues to spend his career in sheer uncertainty at Real Madrid.
Still at the Los Blancos, the playmaker is far from a regular. He has made only seven La Liga appearances this season, four of them have been starts. He has made only one start in the UEFA Champions League too. The start against Paris Saint-Germain came in the absence of Luke Modric and Federico Valverde.
His last league start came on the 19th of October against Mallorca, who beat Real 1-0. The recent injury though, hardly helps him. It should tell Real that James isn’t a player they should rely on now.
Real have confirmed that James is expected to be out until the start of 2020. The Colombian has been diagnosed with a sprain to the internal ligament of his left knee and those injuries aren’t good at any point.
At Bayern Munich last season, James had a knee ligament problem on the same knee. He was out for eight games, even though he had a productive season otherwise. He scored seven times, assisting four times in 20 appearances.
In his first season in Bavaria, he played 23 times in the Bundesliga. He scored seven times, racking up an impressive tally of 11 assists.
The quality is still there in the player. But only if he is played in the right environment. With Modric back in the first-team after some injury issues and Valverde having grown in stature, Rodriguez’s spot in midfield is in jeopardy. Or perhaps, it was never his.
Valverde has played eight games in the league, scoring once and assisting once. And at the age of 21, he is seen as the heir to Modric’s throne at the Bernabeu in midfield.
Martin Odegaard has been impressive in his spell at Real Sociedad. In 11 La Liga appearances, he has scored twice and has assisted thrice. In a 4-2-3-1 shape at La Real, Odegaard has played in the left side of midfield, acting as the club’s chief creator.
He has played 2.5 key passes per game for the club- the highest among all of the players in the side. Those traits are so similar to those of James.
The Colombian has also played on the right-wing this season. But the club has quicker options in Gareth Bale, Vinicius Junior and Rodrigo Goes in that position. The last two names offer younger options who bring dynamism to the plate and catch the opposition off-guard with their quickness.
Vinicius has completed 1.6 dribbles per game this season- the second-highest at the club. While Rodrigo has completed 0.8 of them. While Bale has a tally of 1.3 dribbles per game to his name- the fourth-best at the club.
James’ tally stands at just 0.1. That shows how quick he is, in comparison to the other proper wide players. And that isn’t a good sign about his future at the club.
And the recent injury doesn’t help. Napoli were close to signing him in the summer, but the move fell through.
The Partenopei President Aurelio de Laurentiis told (via Marca): “I don’t understand why Bayern Munich had the player given to them and we’re asked to pay 42 million. They [Bayern Munich] have three times our budget. If James could arrive on loan, nobody would say no because then we could sign another player.”
Atletico Madrid were linked as well, but that move didn’t materialise either. It shows that the player will still attract clubs and teams will be interested in signing him. Once Odegaard comes back, Real have to let James go.