Football clubs, especially in the Premier League, seem to spend as much of the transfer windows thinking up ‘fun’ and ‘interesting’ and even ‘banterful™ ways to announce the deal.’ Some have hit the mark while others fall flat and are met by embarrassing reactions. It seems that the bigger the player and the club the more ridiculous and over the top each unveiling should be.
However, Bayern Munich revealed that they had signed the golden boot winner from the last World Cup, 26-year-old James Rodriguez, with a simple tweet, “IT’S OFFICIAL! #FCBayern have signed @jamesdrodriguez on a two-year loan deal.”
— FC Bayern Munich (@FCBayernEN) July 11, 2017
No dabs or dances simply text. This does not, however, make this an unexciting singing, far from it. Bayern have captured the Columbian attacking midfield star on a two-year loan with the option to buy according to Bayern’s website.
It is a fabulous signing and one which I think is one of the best of the transfer window, for three reasons.
Bayern need an attacking midfielder
Bayern’s midfield is absolutely packed with stars with Thiago, Tolisso, Sebastian Rudy, Arturo Vidal, Joshua Kimmich and Renato Sanches all able to play in the middle of the park for Carlo Ancelotti’s side.
These players all offer something different with Kimmich and Rudy excelling defensively, Sanches, Tolisso and Vidal providing box-to-box brilliance and Thiago pulls strings from deep.
It seems then, at first glance, a little strange that the club would be willing to part with a reported €10 million loan fee as well as James’s full salary.
However, James gives Bayern something they don’t have. Rodriguez is a proper number ten who can play behind the striker, score goals and can even play as a second striker if needed. He fills a gap that the club had and despite their side already been chocked full of talent; he will be a different kind of player.
Thomas Muller often plays behind the striker but seems to be tasked with looking to find space just off Lewandowski and taking chances when they fall to him. James should be able to create chances for Lewandowski. He can also play out on the wings, and with first choice wingers, Robben and Ribery ageing having that option will be very useful for Bayern.
James has played well when given a chance
Rodriguez, according to SI, left because he wanted more game time and an opportunity to prove he belongs at one of the world’s top clubs, having failed to nail down a starting place in Madrid.
He only managed to start 13 La Liga games last season. However, whenever he has been played and had the opportunity to impress, he has done very well. He might not put the kind of numbers that teammates like Cristiano Ronaldo or Gareth Bale do, but he has shown he is a very effective player capable of scoring and assisting his teammates.
Carlo Ancelotti was the coach who brought him to Real Madrid, and during Ancelotti’s time at the club James scored 17 goals and provided 18 assists in just 46 appearances, a rate of involvement that shows what a superb player he can be when given a chance.
He has also continued to shine for his national team who are currently second in their World Cup qualification group ahead of both Chile and Argentina.
It’s a world cup year
In the first half of 2014, James was having a great season with his club side Monaco, but he was not the household name that he is now. He was the up-and-coming player but had yet to fully show what he could do at the highest level.
That summer’s world cup changed that as James exploded onto the world stage and seared his name into the collective consciousness scoring six goals to win the World Cup golden boot including a stunning volley against Uruguay.
James will be desperate to repeat that wonderful patch of form he had, and while his place in Colombia’s squad is not in doubt, he will want to play as many games before the tournament as possible so he can arrive in peak form. With this coming season finishing with a World Cup in Russia, James will surely work even harder and produce great things for Bayern. If James gets the chance and a run of games I feel he will prove to be the window’s best signing.