James Rodriguez is likely to remain at Real Madrid this season after the club lost Marco Asensio to an ACL injury.
This is a remarkable U-turn by Madrid because after falling out with Zinedine Zidane, James had spent the last two seasons on loan at Bayern Munich.
The German giants opted against signing the playmaker on a permanent deal, but Napoli and Atletico Madrid were two of the clubs interested in acquiring him ahead of the 2019/20 campaign.
However, the season ending injury to Asensio has left Zidane short of options up front and it appears that the quickest solution is to bring Rodriguez back into the first-team fold.
Expect James to play on the right flank next season, where he will compete for game time with Isco, Vinicius Junior and Lucas Vazquez.
There is a feeling amongst some Madrid fans that James cannot play on the wing, but he has shined nearly every time he has operated on the right. The 4-4-2 with James and Isco on the flanks produced the best football in the Carlo Ancelotti era, and James has continued to manufacture insane numbers when shifted to that position throughout the ensuing seasons.
James’ expected assists numbers from the right-wing stand close to Lionel Messi levels (Messi has averaged 0.48 expected assists p90 in the league from 2014/15 onwards) and the former Bayern Munich man has a track record of consistently beating his expected goals figures no matter where he plays.
All-in-all, James creates one goal every game, something no other player on Madrid’s squad is capable of in the post-Cristiano Ronaldo era.