On Tuesday, Bayern Munich announced the signing of Colombian International James Rodriguez from Real Madrid. The transfer came as a surprise to many, as it was not preceded by weeks and months of speculations throughout the media, as is the norm these days. The 26 year old signed a 2 year loan deal, an expected move, since James had been linked with permanent moves to the likes of Chelsea or Manchester United. His contract at Bayern will last until June 30, 2019 with an option for Bayern to buy. However, Bayern will have to cough up a big chunk of money if they wish to keep him permanently, as he will still have 2 more years on his Real contract after the loan move is over.
Yet James’s departure from the record La Liga and Champions League winners was hardly out of the blue, after the Colombian had spent most of the season on the bench, which was obviously hard on a player of his caliber. Recall that only three years ago, he was being hailed as one of the world’s best emerging players.
The 2014 World Cup was James’s breakthrough tournament. He finished top scorer with 6 goals, helping his national team reach the quarter finals at which point they lost to host’s Brazil. The new Bayern man also had a remarkable campaign for his club AS Monaco after having signed from FC Porto that season. He was putting on a consistently terrific performance for his new club.
Being a keen follower of Monaco, I managed to keep an eye on the youngster who was on the rise. Before the 2014 World Cup, I was continuously telling my friends that the tournament will be dominated by two exciting players: Marco Reus and James Rodriguez. Most of them knew who Reus was, but they had no idea about James. Both of my predictions could’ve been true, but Reus pulled out of the competition due to injury. Thankfully, James didn’t disappoint. He scored in every game he played in Brazil. And when he scored that sumptuous volley against Uruguay in the last 16 everyone knew who he was.
You gotta love the commentary on this goal:
Indeed, James rarely scores ordinary goals. He has a magical left foot and he’s also good at creating goal scoring chances — be it from set pieces or from open play. He can operate centrally or on either wings behind the striker. Bayern have not only got themselves a global star adored by many, but also a versatile hard worker who can fit into different formations and will likely make himself useful when paired with, say, Robert Lewandowski.
This loan deal certainly doesn’t say “Good News” for the clubs wanting to challenge Bayern for the league title this upcoming season.
Carlo Ancelotti is building a formidable front line brimming with talent. Having secured Corentin Tolisso from Lyon, another midfielder who scores goals, the Italian coach is forming an attacking force to be reckoned with. Sixth straight Bundesliga trophy looks to be on its way already but it’s also clear that Bayern are adamant about trying to win their 6th Champions League title. They definitely are ticking all the right boxes as far as transfers are concerned. RB Lepzig and Borussia Dortmund will have their works cut out if they have any chance of getting close to Bayern.
While James Rodriguez’s arrival alone is not guaranteed to push Bayern to greater heights, he is arguably the most exciting player to join the Bundesliga in recent memory. The Colombian sealed his move on Tuesday and celebrated his birthday the following day. Some week!
Regarding the transfer Bayern’s Chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said: “We’re delighted we’ve been able to complete this transfer. Signing James Rodriguez was our coach Carlo Ancelotti’s biggest wish, following their successful spell working together in Madrid.”
James will wear the number 11 at his new club and will join the squad for the summer tour to China and Singapore according to the club’s official website.