A Fresh Start for James Rodríguez

by Danny Welch

Will James Rodríguez be the talent he once was at his new club, Everton?


James Rodríguez is all smiles upon signing with Everton on a two-year contract

James Rodríguez first showcased his talent to the world during his sensational performance in the 2014 World Cup. He led the Colombian national team to the quarterfinals of the tournament while also scoring six goals to win the Golden Boot. Following James’ unforgettable individual performance, the Spanish-giant Real Madrid signed him on a $90 million, six-year transfer deal, which was the fourth-most expensive transfer ever at the time. However, Rodríguez’s career fell off after poor performances in the La Liga and on loan with Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga. Six years later, Rodríguez ended his nightmare at Real Madrid and signed a $29 million, two-year transfer deal with Everton F.C. With a new opportunity to reboot his career, Rodríguez is proving the world that he still is the player he once was.

In Rodríguez’s first year with Real Madrid, he played extremely well under manager Carlo Ancelotti. He scored 14 goals and 15 assists across all competitions that year and left Ancelotti highly impressed with his performance. However, Rodríguez’s issues began when Zinedine Zidane became the manager for Real Madrid.

Zidane gave Rodríguez less time on the pitch than he wanted, which resulted in disputes between the two. Rodríguez found himself on the bench for most games in the next couple of seasons and demanded a loan transfer in 2017. He then transferred to Bayern Munich on a two-year loan that season, and more poor performances at the club led to him to be benched yet again.

He also had attitude issues, this time with Bayern manager, Niko Kovac. Rodríguez Kovac’s coaching in fits of rage in the Bayern dressing room after games in October 2018, leading to more time on the bench.

Besides his poor performances and issues with his coaches, James also faced several injuries. James Rodgríguez missed over 25 games due to injuries while at Bayern in only two seasons. He has also missed a total of 71 games following his transfer to Real Madrid in 2014. Rodríguez’s failures at Madrid and Bayern led him to sign with Everton over this summer, a club with significantly lower reputation than his two previous clubs.

Despite the path his career has gone down, Rodriguez has the potential to succeed at Everton given his significant talent. Everton has lacked a superstar player since 2017 after Romelu Lukaku left the club for Manchester United. Since then, they have not finished in the top seven of the EPL and placed 12th in the 2019-2020 season. Despite his recent failures, Rodríguez is expected to bring success to Everton. He has to have a better attitude and give the same effort he would do with a larger club. In addition, he has reunited with his former world-class manager, Carlo Ancelotti. With this new signing, Everton has the potential to contend for a Europa League or Champions League spot this season.

Rodríguez’s and Everton’s performances so far have been nothing short of world-class. He already has three goals and three assists in four games, and he has set up numerous build-up plays towards goal and controlling the midfield well. His play has contributed to his team success, as the Everton attack has thrived under Rodriguez’s leadership having scored 14 goals in their first six game. As of November 1, Everton sits at 2nd place in the Premier League table.

Everton is looking like a Champions League contending team, and James looks like the leader and player he once was in the 2014 FIFA World Cup.. James’ master class passing and clinical finishes are proving the success he can have this year. James looks forward to proving the world wrong about the path his career has gone down, and it looks like James Rodriguez is going to bring success back to Everton after a few rocky years.