James Rodriguez was one of our start signings of 2014 when he moved down to Madrid from AS Monaco for a cool €80 million Euros, putting him near the top of the list as one of the most expensive footballers on the planet.
I was skeptical about his signing. Offloading Di María, who was fundamental to winning La Décima, to bring in a high priced rising star. It seemed like what some might call typical overspending by Perez for more “Galácticos”. Not to mention, Perez has always been concerned about the players looks (Remember Beckham?) to sell more jerseys, and James is a fairly good look fellow. We’re buying for all the wrong reasons was my thinking.
According to James himself, playing for Real Madrid would fulfill his life’s dream, and thus it seemed that way the season of his arrival. James proved to be a decent investment, lighting up the pitch with his technique, vision and playmaking skills until eventually being sidelined through injury.
But since then, he hasn’t been the same. He shows flashes of brilliance from time to time but doesn’t consistently put in the kind of performances we saw his first year in white. Ever since Zidane took over James has seemed even more out of favor. Of the 53 matches under Zidane, James has only started 21 of them, for a total of 1999 minutes out of 4860 total, which is only 41%.
There have been rumors of a poor work ethic. I don’t know if that’s the case, but it’s possible. Zidane seems like a fairly level headed guy and probably gives all the players the shot they deserve. The chances James has had this season he simply has not taken advantage of.
James has the quality to start every match on this Real Madrid team. We didn’t shell out €80 million for an average player. So where does the problem lie? Is it mental? physical? Not trying hard enough? I really don’t know because the poor spell has lasted a while. Nevertheless, I would not sell James in the winter transfer window. We would definitely lose money on the deal and say goodbye to a player that can be a game changer at any given moment.
After winning the world club competition a few days ago James spoke out saying, “I can’t assure I will stay at Real Madrid. I have offers and seven days left to think about my future. I am happy in Madrid, but I want to play more. I have a bitter feeling as I wanted to play the final, but I am happy for the title. It’s the 15th title in my career.”
If I had to make a bet with a system like profit accumulator, I would bet on James staying. We have been patient with other underperforming stars like Gareth Bale, who has had highs and lows since joining Madrid. I hope we have a little more patience with our Colombian midfielder, let’s keep him at least until summer.