Should Everton cut their losses with an unhappy James Rodriguez?

Paul Macdonald
Should Everton cut their losses with an unhappy James Rodriguez?

James Rodriguez only joined Everton a few months ago after being enticed by the prospect of working with Carlo Ancelotti again, but could it already be time for the Toffees to cut loose their prized possession?

The Colombia international has struggled to find a permanent home in recent years, with his struggles at Spanish giants Real Madrid leading to a two-year loan spell at Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.

After failing to light up the German top flight, Rodriguez moved back to Madrid and was allowed to leave on a free transfer the same summer. A move to Goodison Park followed, where a fast start impressed everyone in England, however, according to reports in DefensaCentral, the South American is no longer happy on Merseyside.

The poor weather, different customs and a physical brand of football are the reasons cited for Rodriguez’s reported desire to leave the Premier League after less than a season plying his trade there.

A move back to Madrid has been outlined as the most likely destination for the 29-year-old this summer, although this time with Atletico Madrid rather than Los Blancos. Diego Simeone’s men came close to signing the attacking midfielder two years ago, and Rodriguez’s love for the city could make it a perfect marriage.

Everton fans would understandably be dismayed at the prospect of losing one of their biggest signings in recent history just a year after he joined, but perhaps they shouldn’t fear his potential departure too much.

After scoring three goals and providing three assists in his first 10 Premier League appearances, Rodriguez’s output has dipped below what we have come to expect from the World Cup Golden Boot winner.

StatFirst 10 Premier League AppsLast 7 Premier League Apps
Shot-Creating Actions449
Successful Dribbles185
Progressive Passes7131
James Rodriguez 2020/21

As the table clearly indicates, Rodriguez’s overall output to the Everton team has dropped off in recent weeks. It may be a natural decline that many players experience after making an unsustainable start to their career at a new club: or there could be some more concerning underlying factors at play.

Either way, it would be a win-win situation for the Toffees. If the rumours are false, it’s likely Rodriguez’s form will bounce back to some degree, and he will be very useful in their quest for European qualification over the next few seasons. But if he does pine for a return to the Spanish capital, then Ancelotti would undoubtedly make a healthy profit on a top-quality player with over two years left on his current contract.