Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Real Madrid Will Be Forced To Part Ways With Midfielder On Cut-Price Fee: What Should Be Zidane’s Play?

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Abhinab Ghosh
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.

According to a recent report by Marca, Real Madrid will be forced to part ways with James Rodriguez and that too, on a cut-price fee this summer. The same source has also revealed that the Colombian international no longer wishes to be a part of Los Blancos as he wants to seal a move away from the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium during the summer transfer window.

Rodriguez’s Mounting Frustrations At The Spanish Capital

The 28-year-old has endured a frustrating campaign after picking up quite a few injuries which have hampered his progress in Spain. He has featured in 14 matches for the La Liga outfit this term, registering one goal and two assists across multiple competitions which highlight his lack of consistency even when he is fit and available for selection.

However, when we look deep into his stats, Rodriguez deserves some credit for averaging 1.1 shots, 1.8 key passes, 0.8 crosses and 2.5 long balls per game in La Liga this season (stats via whoscored). The Colombian has shown some glimpses of his brilliance but has often been inconsistent with his performances this season.

The Cucuta-born playmaker has a wealth of experience at the international stage after securing 76 senior caps for the Colombian national side while scoring 22 goals for his homeland thus far. Maybe a change of scenery could benefit Rodriguez as it would allow him to make a fresh start away from the Bernabeu which could boost his chances of retaining his place in Carlos Queiroz’s squad ahead of next year’s Copa America.

Real Madrid will be forced to part ways with Rodriguez who is seen in the photo
Real Madrid’s Colombian midfielder James Rodriguez sits on the grandstands before the Spanish league football match between Real Madrid CF and Valencia CF at the Alfredo di Stefano stadium in Valdebebas, on the outskirts of Madrid, on June 18, 2020. (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images)

What Does The Colombian International Offer On The Field?

Rodriguez is a technically-gifted playmaker who loves to operate as a free-flowing attacking midfielder. When the South American sensation is playing with confidence on the field, he can create all sorts of problems for the opposition defenders using his dribbling, trickery and incisiveness when passing the ball. Rodriguez excels at finding space in the final third and has the vision to play a decisive pass in and around the opposition penalty box. He can also contribute with a few important goals from midfield. Barring any further injuries, the Madrid outcast has still got a few years left in his locker to perform at a high level.

What Should Be Zinedine Zidane’s Play Here?

At best, Rodriguez has been a useful squad player for Zidane this season. However, at his worst, he can be a frustrating figure as he has often come up short in the high-profile matches for Los Blancos this season. Therefore, if the reports are accurate about the player’s desire to leave the club, then Zidane should not stand in his way.

The Madrid head coach can use the money generated from Rodriguez’s sale to strengthen his midfield options this summer. Plus, the Colombian’s departure would also free up a place for someone like Reinier Jesus Carvalho, who has the potential to become a real fan-favourite at the Bernabeu.

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