James Rodriguez departs
Following a Jekyll and Hyde 12 months with Everton, the Toffees have confirmed that Colombian star James Rodriguez has departed to sign for Qatari outfit Al Rayyan.
🔵 | James Rodriguez has left Everton to sign for Qatari club Al Rayyan for an undisclosed fee.
— Everton (@Everton) September 22, 2021
Signed from Real Madrid in the summer of 2020, Rodriguez marked a clear statement of intent on the blue side of Merseyside. Joining up with former managerial favourite Carlo Ancelotti, who managed him in Spain, Rodriguez hit the ground running.
The creator hit three goals and three assists in his first six games for the club, helping Everton into an early lead of the Premier League table, and was for all the world looking like a brilliant addition to the Toffees’ side.
However, it soon all began to unravel, with James recording just a further 3 goals and 1 assist in the remainder of the 38-game season. By the end, the Colombian had dropped out of Ancelotti’s plans completely, and upon the arrival of Rafa Benitez, after Ancelotti rejoined Real Madrid, Rodriguez was frozen out.
With speculation rife all summer about his next destination, no move across Europe was forthcoming, leaving a move to Asia or MLS as the only two viable options for the 29-year-old.
And it is the former that Rodriguez has opted for, joining Al Rayyan for an undisclosed fee.
Who are Al Rayyan?
With the World Cup of 2022 set to be played in Qatar, the nation’s domestic competition could be thrust into the limelight in the next few seasons.
— AlRayyanSC (@AlrayyanSC) September 22, 2021
Al Rayyan are currently managed by ex-France international Laurent Blanc, and have taken 2 points from their opening 2 games in the Qatar Stars League. Rodriguez will link up with one-time Everton transfer target Yacine Brahimi, and becomes the second high-profile player to depart England for Qatar this summer, following the sale of Toby Alderweireld.
Will Rodriguez see out his career in the middle east? Or is this simply a stop gap until a return to Europe next summer?
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This article was edited by Conor Laird.
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