James Rodriguez’s time in Everton is over without a single meaningful minute played under Rafa Benitez.
Al Rayyan is in the Qatar Stars League, and the Colombian star joins Yacine Brahimi of Algeria as the stars of a Qatari-heavy side.
James, 30, looked like one of the signings of 2020 as he burst out of the gates with Carlo Ancelotti’s Toffees, scoring thrice with three assists as Everton started the Premier League season with four wins and a draw.
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But he’d miss five of the next 10 matches and Everton won the last four.
All told he missed stretches of three-plus PL matches three times and only played 78 total minutes from May 1 to the season-ending 5-0 loss at Man City.
He’s an electric talent, an aggressive passer who is going to cue up dangerous plays, but he does almost nothing else. He’s not a big dribbler and is not going to ring up too many tackles or do much tracking, even relative to a forward.
James took the world by storm at the 2014 World Cup, engineering a bidding war that ended with a move to Real Madrid.
He had a terrific first season at the Bernabeu, churning out 13 goals and 13 assists, but his numbers were nearly halved the next season and he’d go on a two-year loan to Bayern Munich before returning to Madrid.