Everton in talks to recruit Real Madrid midfielder James Rodriguez who is celebrating in the photo
James Rodriguez of Real Madrid celebrates after scoring his team's 4th goal during the Liga match between Real Madrid CF and Granada CF at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on October 05, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

According to a recent report by Defensa Central (translated by Sport Witness), Everton are ready to fight it out with Wolverhampton Wanderers in the chase to secure the signature of James Rodriguez from Real Madrid this summer. The same source has also stated that the Colombian midfielder wants to leave the Madrid giants at the end of this campaign due to his ‘increasingly delicate’ situation at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium with the Toffees one of the clubs interested in his services.

Rodriguez’s Frustrations At Madrid This Season

Rodriguez has found first-team opportunities hard to come by at the Spanish capital this season. He has been plagued with injuries and has missed a major chunk of this campaign because of it. The 28-year-old has secured a total of 650 minutes of playing time so far. He has registered one goal and two assists in 13 matches for Los Blancos this term across all competitions. So it is safe to assume that he has been left a frustrated figure under Zinedine Zidane’s stewardship.

Maybe, switching clubs in the summer could help Rodriguez reignite his career in European football. However, the jury is still out on whether he will be able to deal with the physical nature of the Premier League if he decides to join the Merseyside outfit in the off-season.

The Cucuta-born talent has averaged 1.3 shots and 2.0 key passes per 90 minutes in the La Liga this season which goes to show that he can still be a menace for the opposition defenders (stats via whoscored). However, what has been surprising is the fact that he has struggled to complete any meaningful dribbles going forward. For a player who made a name for himself for his penetrative runs out on the wide areas, he looks like a shadow of his former self these days.

Colombian player James Rodriguez takes part in a training session for their September 6 FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 South American qualifier football match against Brazil at the Ismael Benigno stadium in Manaus, Brazil on September 4, 2016. / AFP / CHRISTOPHE SIMON (Photo credit should read CHRISTOPHE SIMON/AFP/Getty Images)

At the same time, there is no denying that Rodriguez has what it takes to perform at a high level for the Colombian national team. He has earned 76 international caps for his nation thus far, scoring 22 goals in the process. The Madrid playmaker was the top scorer of the 2014 FIFA World Cup and has also won a plethora of trophies during his club career.

What Does The South American Sensation Offer On The Field?

Despite losing a yard of pace from his game, Rodriguez has shown a few glimpses of his brilliance during this campaign. He is tidy when in possession of the ball as evidenced by his pass success rate of 82.3% in the Spanish top-flight (stats via whoscored). Furthermore, the Colombia international can still create chances out of nothing but needs to prove his fitness if he wants to taste more silverware in the coming years.

Should The Toffees Fight For The Right To Sign Rodriguez This Summer?

Everton can benefit from acquiring an experienced midfielder of Rodriguez’s skill set as he will add another dimension to their attack. Carlo Ancelotti has currently got Fabian Delph, Andre Gomes, Tom Davies and Gylfi Sigurdsson as his midfield options. However, none of them has been able to impress with their contributions going forward.

At the same time, the Toffees will be taking a huge gamble if they decide to move in for Rodriguez this summer. His recent injury-record, coupled with his lack of game time this season, makes him a risky acquisition for any of his potential suitors. Hence, the Merseyside club will be better off looking at other options and not put their faith on an injury-prone player whose best days are past him.

A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.