According to Goal.com, James Rodríguez has the first two La Liga matches to change Zinedine Zidane’s mind. Those are the only two chances to play before the transfer window closes.
The Colombian has been in the rumor mill for most of the summer with some Premier League interest. His disappointing sophomore season at the Bernabéu created doubt inside the club.
He played 32 total matches for Los Blancos this past season, scoring eight goals. His first season he played 46 and scored 17 goals. That decrease in contribution became the main reason the rumors of a departure started.
The #10 kit has somewhat of a curse in this club. A lot is expected from whoever wears that number and sooner or later, either the player stops shining or a competitor arrives and forces a sale.
In James’ case, it’s a bit of both, poor performances and new competition. Since Marco Asensio joined this summer, he has garnered praise and created himself a spot in the first team squad.
Along with Isco, Asensio and James have a similar playing style and there won’t be enough playing time for the three of them. Initially, Casemiro, Kroos and Modrić will remain in the starting 11.
He has to show in the next two matches that he will fight to make his coach pick him over others. Men like Lucas Vázquez and Casemiro are of a lower profile, but fought hard enough to earn themselves a bigger role.