He was, undoubtedly, the star of the 2014 World Cup, shining for Colombia as they made a run to the quarter finals of the tournament. Indeed, James Rodriguez had the world at his feet and so it was unsurprising when Real Madrid signed him from Monaco that summer, making him their latest ‘Galactico’ addition.
At that point, James had the makings of a true superstar. He brought a certain star quality to the Santiago Bernabeu and enjoyed a successful first two seasons in the Spanish capital. The Colombian arrived at the club around the same time as Isco and in the end the two playmakers got in each other’s way.
Rather peculiarly, Isco and James’ futures at Real Madrid have been intertwined from the moment they arrived at the club. Last summer, it seemed that both players would be given another chance to prove their worth at the Santiago Bernabeu. This summer, though, it seems likely that both will be made available for sale, especially James.
James is still only 29 years old and so there should still be plenty left in the tank. At Bayern Munich, he struggled to make his mark and the Colombian has been a peripheral figure for Real Madrid this season. He needs to find a club where he will be truly embraced. There is still a lot to embrace.
A move to the Premier League has been mooted. Arsenal and Manchester United are reportedly interested, but this has the look of speculation sparked by agents rather than the clubs themselves. Instead, James would likely have to look to a lower level to get his next move.
Everton could be the perfect place for him next season. The Goodison Park club need a playmaker in the mould of the Colombian and Carlo Ancelotti is at Everton. The Italian coach always managed to get the best out of James while at Real Madrid and so a reunion could be in both parties’ best interests. There would be some logic behind such a move.
If James is to leave the Santiago Bernabeu this summer, as looks likely, he will do so racked with regret. Real Madrid will surely feel some regret too. The Colombian should have been a great, a true ‘Galactico.’ Instead, he will be remembered for shining brightly, but burning out too quickly.
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