Liverpool want Real Madrid’s James Rodriguez, according to reports this week. A move for the Colombian outcast just isn’t worth their time, however.
The Daily Mail makes the claim. They believe James is up for sale this summer and that Liverpool, among many others, hold an interest in the player.
James signed for Real in 2014 on the back of a fantastic World Cup. It appears that his time with the Spaniards will end after six years, though, as they finally move him on.
And it really is a case of ‘finally’, as it’s easy to get the impression that they’ve wanted rid for some time. James started 29 La Liga games in his first season (14/15) but that’s the last time he’s managed more than 19.
That includes a two-year spell with Bayern Munich where they only started him 32 times over two Bundesliga campaigns. And now, back with Real, James played only eight La Liga games in their title-winning season.
And only five of those were starts. His season stat-line reads one goal, one assist, one yellow card. Which brings us to Liverpool.
James Rodriguez to Liverpool?
That Daily Mail article links Liverpool with Thiago. They’re hardly the only ones, either – just about every reputable source admits that the Reds would quite like the Spaniard, such as this from the Independent.
So from that, we can say that Liverpool would quite like a technical, attack-minded midfielder. We can also take that 29 isn’t necessarily too old. That’s quite important, given James is also 29.
But there are key differences. For one, they play in very different ways. Thiago is a deep playmaker, looking to pick the ball up in the middle of the pitch and make things tick.
James, on the other hand, looks to move towards the box and make decisive actions. That could be taking the shot or playing the key pass – something that at his best, he’s great at. His first season at Real produced 13 goals and 13 assists in La Liga. His first with Bayern saw seven goals and 11 assists.
The problem is that those seasons are firmly in the past. His second season with Bayern produced seven goals, three assists. And as said before, this year with Real saw James score one and assist one. Liverpool would need to rehabilitate him, then.
But do they have time for that? James is 29 and players tend to take a while to get used to Liverpool, anyway. Takumi Minamino, for instance, was still adjusting by the end of the season, six months after his arrival. Naby Keita has been around for two years but is only now looking like the player we hope for.
Fabinho didn’t start a game in Liverpool’s preferred formation until the March after he arrived.
Liverpool wouldn’t just be hoping to get James back to his best, then. They’d need him to adjust to the team at the same time, which could take half a season. By then, he’s nearly 30 – with no guarantee that he fits in.
And if Liverpool want an advanced midfielder, we can’t help but look at another name on the Daily Mail’s list – Philippe Coutinho. He’s two years younger and knows the club already, meaning he wouldn’t need so long to adapt.
But the Reds improved when Coutinho left, so we don’t believe they need him either. And if Liverpool are a better team without that type of player, what’s the sense in signing James Rodriguez?