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Not Morata – Why Arsenal Must Go All Out To Sign This £71m Real Madrid Superstar

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James Rodriguez has struggled to live up to the expectations at Real Madrid. (Getty Images)

James Rodriguez

Why Arsenal Should Spend Big And Land James Rodriguez This Summer

Remember that rich neighborhood kid who gets obsessed with an expensive toy, buys it when rest of the neighborhood stands in awe, realises that the toy isn’t special anymore after playing with it for a week and moves it to yard sale? Real Madrid’s transfer policy isn’t too different to that. Success at Bernabeu is highly complicated.

You are expected to fit into the tactics of the current manager, win the hyper-critical Madrid crowd, fit again into the tactics of the next manager after your current manager is sacked in a year or two, and again win the hyper-critical Madrid crowd by playing under new tactics. Many have failed in this daunting quest and the latest casualty is James Rodriguez.

Donning the number 10 shirt in Colombia’s 2014 World Cup quest, James made the world take notice of his indisputable talent. Scoring 6 goals en route to winning the FIFA puskas award for the best goal and ranked as the best performing player in the tournament by FIFA, James was the toast of the town. James’ talents were well known at club level well before the tournament and he was signed by a free spending Monaco for £38.5m, which was the most expensive Ligue1 signing back then.

The 2014 FIFA World cup further heightened his value and he grabbed attention from the Galacticos. Right after the World Cup, James flirted with links to the Spanish capital. Eventually Madrid materialised their love and put pen on paper signing the Colombian for a reported £71m.

James Rodriguez

James’ love affair with the Galacticos slowly turned sour. Signed by manager Carlo Ancelotti who was sacked that season, passed to Rafa Benitez who was sacked the next season, he currently plays under Zidane. Though his goals and assists have been eye catching, he has been deemed as a misfit in Zidane’s tactics.

When he couldn’t even make it to the bench of Madrid’s Champions league final, it was clear that James’ career at Madrid was coming to an end. Playing for a paltry 1180 minutes in Madrid’s La Liga triumph, James has a goal or assist every 80 odd minutes – a great return for a midfield player who is mostly resigned to the bench.

James and Arsenal?

Though James’ role in Madrid has been limited, there has been no questions about his ability. Arsenal have been rumored to make a move for James. The Colombian would be a welcome addition to Arsene’s free flowing football. With Arsene’s tactics heavily dependent on midfield goals, James could finally live up to his potential. As Alexis proved with 30 goals last year, and Ramsey a couple of seasons back, Arsene’s football style allows midfielders to thrive with goals and assists.

With a keen eye for goals and clean finishing, the Colombian can be a perfect complement to Ozil, who is usually shy of shooting. If signed for Arsenal, James will take up one of the two advanced midfield roles in Arsene’s 3-4-2-1 system. With Alexis’ future up in the air, it makes sense for Arsene to look for a keen goal scorer from midfield.

Also, James’ confidence, which has taken a huge hit, can be soothed by Wenger, who is known for his personal touch with star players. Also, it will be a strong statement of intent from Arsenal, to re-assure the fans about their spending power. It looks like a win-win situation for both the parties but the big question is, will Stan pay the big bucks to bring the Colombian?

He has to do so if Arsenal are to take the next step forward!