The number 10 role is always the role that the kids want to play in nowadays, AS Monaco star James Rodriguez is irresistibly adding to the temptation of the role. James leads the way in this World Cup and proves to be the talisman for the South American side and is currently leading the race for the golden boot but they’re not just average goals he’s scoring as 3 of the 5 could be nominated for “Goal of the Tournament”. So what is ‘James’ all about and why the big fuss?
After playing for two Columbian sides, ‘James’ caught the attention of Portuguese giants FC Porto who are renowned for taking South American talent for a transfer fee of €5.1m in 2010.
In the 2011-12 season ‘James’ showed his worth by notching 14 goals and 11 assists whilst in the same season winning the ‘LPFP breakthrough player award’ and the ‘Portuguese Golden Ball’ which is from the newspaper “A Bola’.
In the 2013-13 season ‘James’ was handed the number 10 shirt as Brazilian star had moved on to Zenit St.Petersburg, but a hamstring injury for part of the second half of the season seemingly left ‘James’ struggling for some fitness but regained it near the end.
He expressed his desire to move to a ‘bigger’ club for a ‘bigger’ challenge and Manchester United had a bid of €30m rejected as Porto deemed it to be too low. On the 24th May 2013 it seemed AS Monaco won the services of the Columbian attacking midfielder with a transfer fee of €45m and a contract length of five years.
After his Ligue 1 debut the French media referred to ‘James’ as perhaps one of the best players in Ligue 1 but ‘James’ stated he needs more time in the league for that to be evident, his services did prove helpful for the season as he helped the side secure 2nd place and Champions League football.
So what’s next for ‘James’?
AS Monaco: He could stay at Monaco after the impressive season that has helped them with champions league football and with a couple of names to add strength to the side it is surely possible that they could win a title of sorts next season and alongside fellow countryman Falcao they would be a dangerous attack for opponents especially with the form that ‘James’ is in.
Napoli: ‘James’ agent Aytekin Erayabakan told ArenaNapoli “I can confirm that I have spoken to Napoli. De Laurentiis is a great person and one of the best presidents I’ve ever seen
“But the Neapolitans are not the only ones following him at the moment. Let’s see what the future holds. There are several European Clubs after him, but it’s best not to say anything at the moment.
So with the addition of last summer and Napoli a little disappointed to finish third ‘James’ might be a good addition to Rafa Benitez’s side.
The standard clubs are thrown into this one really.
– Real Madrid: could be a suitor but also have an attacking midfielder in Isco who overall is a very similar technical player to the Columbian but with a reported €525m budget and the possibility of them wanting Luis Suarez it might be an option for the Catalans who are seemingly worried about Cristiano Ronaldo’s knee problem.
– Barcelona: seem to be interested in buying Luis Suarez as Real Madrid so much so that reports suggested that before the ‘Incident’ they would of offered £80m + Alexis Sanchez or Pedro. Also they have just acquired Ivan Rakitic from Sevilla and with Gerard Deulofeu returning from Everton after an impressive season on Loan battling for a place might be hard.
– Manchester United: They may enquire but Louis Van Gaal might try and find a cheaper Dutch alternative and with the signing of Ander Herrera of £29m from Athletic Bilbao then it might be an idea to leave the Columbian. Also they’ve signed young England international Luke Shaw for excess of £30m from Southampton.
– Tottenham Hotspur: Mauricio Pochettino might look to re-shape the Tottenham squad as last season’s midfield signings to try and patch the hole of Gareth Bale’s leaving didn’t seem to do the trick and he’ll be aiming at Champions League football.
– Arsenal: They have more midfielders than any other department, given some of them are growing in age there are still some young lads such as Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. But it seems like Arsenal may try and move for French Defensive Midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin from Southampton but after the departure of Rickie Lambert, Luke Shaw and potentially Adam Lallana then they wouldn’t be so keen to sell.
The hard line is you won’t be getting James Rodriguez cheap this summer as his performances in the World Cup have been brilliant and with his contract still having 4 years left on there I believe it would take a transfer fee of between €57-60m for AS Monaco to be tempted to allow the Columbian to part ways with the club.