It’s hard to ignore players who leave a mark on the World Cup.
Think about it, when you remember Brazil ’14, apart from Mario Gotze, the name James Rodriguez also tends to pop up.
James Rodriguez is a name synonymous with the 2014 World Cup.
He was nothing short of sensational for Colombia in football’s biggest competition, and whilst he, quite understandably, failed to lead his country to glory; he won the tournament’s Golden Boot, was dubbed the next Carlos Valderrama and earned himself a big-money move to Real Madrid.
Real Madrid, in my opinion, have a spending problem. They splash the cash on Galacticos for the wrong reasons, but the signing of Rodriguez was a necessary one at the time.
Los Blancos simply could not have allowed him to fall into the hands of a direct rival – they did what had to be done.
Right now, though, the player who everyone once envisaged would illuminate La Liga, currently finds himself on the periphery of Zinedine Zidane’s squad. Luckily for him, he’s got a host of clubs after his signature with one of them being serial-spenders Manchester United.
United are still on their quest to reach the heights they attained under Sir Alex Ferguson.
Having spent huge sums of money in previous transfer windows in search of a player capable of carrying the team on his shoulders (without weighing them down at the same time), they’re now closer than ever to returning to the pinnacle of English football under Jose Mourinho.
Whilst United are unlikely to find ‘that player’ anytime soon unless they’re able to lure Neymar to Old Trafford, in James, they’ll find an attacking midfielder who can introduce a new dynamic to their style of play.
His ability to create something out of nothing would make him a dangerous player for Mourinho’s side, even when he’s not at his best.
At times, United play great football under Mourinho, but as we all know, they just can’t convert chances.
James could come in and aid the team on that front. His eye for goal and ability to spot a pass coupled with his mesmerising dribbling makes him hard to defend against on his day.
The Colombia international has scored three goals and made six assists in just nine La Liga starts this season. He’s come off the bench on seven occasions this season, which just goes to show how dire his situation at Madrid is.
The Red Devils are now favourites to acquire his signature with Arsenal now out of the bidding war according to Spanish news outlet Don Balon.
James will reportedly cost United a fee in the region of £50million. Being able to splash that sort of cash without batting an eyelid, the Old Trafford club should be able to sign him with no hassle if they want him.
It’s worth noting that the Portuguese tactician shares the same agent with Rodriguez – Jorge Mendes – a fact that is likely to aid United during contract negotiations with the player.
Where Would he fit in?
James is capable of playing several positions in midfield, but he predominantly features as an attacking midfielder for Real Madrid.
The 25-year-old’s versatility means that Mourinho will not have to rejig his tactical set-up in a bid to accommodate him.
He’s likely to line-up in a No. 10 role for the Red Devils with Juan Mata moving out wide or dropping to the bench…(or perhaps even being sold).
Mourinho could also make James United’s main set-piece taker given his impressive ability from dead-ball situations as well as his penchant for audacious long-range strikes.
James’ potential transfer to United is one that will undoubtedly be met with a lot of fanfare. Although, comparisons to former United flop Angel Di Maria are inevitable if he fails to live up to his reputation in his early days at Old Trafford.
Patience may be afforded to him by Mourinho, but his chances of being dubbed a disappointment by the club’s fans after any hint of mediocrity are quite high. Aren’t they Memphis Depay?
But judging by what we’ve seen from James in his few berths for Los Blancos this season, he’s more than likely to become a success if he makes his way to United.