James Rodriguez recently spoke on the Realeza del Futbol Latino podcast (via Goal) about his struggle to get playing minutes with the club this season. He revealed that he wanted to leave the club because of it.
“Not playing is frustrating. I know I have the conditions to always play, but because of other people, I cannot do it.”
“If I were a bad player, I would accept it, but I’m a person who wants to win and always play.”
“When you see you don’t have the same opportunities as your team-mates, it’s hard. I wanted to leave, but the club wouldn’t let me.”
“He [Zidane] has his own tastes for some players and you have to respect that. I don’t get involved with things like that.”
“I wanted to go somewhere where I would have played, as I knew that I wouldn’t have chances to do that under Zidane because he already has his base.”
James’ situation with the club is not unlike Gareth Bale’s. Both are receiving very little minutes and were almost non-factors during the restart of La Liga. Unlike Bale, however, James doesn’t seem content just waiting out his contract with Real Madrid, which is set to expire in 2021.
There were questions surrounding his return to the club from loan prior to the season’s start. But after playing in only eight La Liga matches this season, it’s quite clear that he’s not really in the club’s plans. It’ll be even more difficult to log effective minutes with the return of Martin Ødegaard.
It’s understandable that he would be frustrated with minimal playing time. He clearly wants to serve a role, but will not really do so with Real. At 29, he still has the skill to start at another club.
It seems the writing’s on the wall with James and this will most likely come to an end this summer with a transfer. It would be surprising to see him stick around for next season knowing there will likely not be much of a difference.