If we were to turn the clock back a couple of years and asked who would be the one player you would like on your team, especially after the World Cup in Brazil, most would have answered James Rodriguez.
The Colombian was wonderful in the tournament and his excellent form for the national side saw him join Real Madrid from Monaco. He was destined to become the next Galactico in the team, and with Cristiano Ronaldo already in the side, it was Rodriguez who was seen to be the heir to the throne that the Portuguese star would vacate in the coming years.
That though has not taken place as easily as one would have wanted or at least as James Rodriguez would have. The Colombian has struggled to maintain a place in the starting XI and couldn’t even play in the final of the UEFA Champions League last season and was kept on the bench.
His manager in the national side has already spoken about the fact that James is not getting enough game time for the side. That has led to many top clubs looking to sign the Colombian with Juventus and Manchester United also in the running.
Chelsea too are said to be in the race to sign a few more players and James would be a great addition for any side but is he the right man for the club?
We compare the stats of the Colombian with the best attacker Chelsea had in the last campaign, Willian using Squawka.com.
Another South American at Chelsea?
Willian was easily the best player that Chelsea had last season and it would only be fitting if he is compared with James, who had an average campaign. Normally we would have looked at the per 90-minute metrics for each player but James only played 1500 minutes in La Liga last season compared to 2700 minutes for Willian.
The Colombian actually came off the bench for a number of games and thus the better way to compare the two players would be to look at the averages of a few metrics. James was the slightly better passer as he completed 35.7 passes per match when compared to 34.9 from Willian.
The Real Madrid star also had a better completion rate with 87% compared to 83% for the Brazilian at Chelsea but the funny thing is both players created the same number of chances per game in their respective leagues last season, 2.3.
James also scored more goals per game with 7 coming in 26 league games while Willian came up with 5 in 35 league games in the Premier League. James also seems to be better at tackling with an average of 0.96 tackles won per game compared to Willian’s 0.83. The Colombian star also was better at aerial duels with a 33.3% success rate last season in La Liga compared to 10.3% for Willian at Chelsea.
Many consider James to be a luxury signing and to a certain extent he is but if the Real Madrid player is given a chance to play in the first team on a regular basis, he will get better and provide his team with a lot more than fancy skills and style.
Chelsea might have to break the bank to sign the 25-year-old but he would add another dimension to the team, as long as Antonio Conte does not make him do a lot of defensive work. Chelsea need a bright spark in the team and that role can most certainly be played by James.