James Rodríguez and his potential impact at Real Madrid

This summer’s World Cup was the perfect place for footballers from all over the planet to put themselves in the global shop window; no-one did it in quite so much style as Colombia’s James Rodríguez.

The gifted attacking midfielder scored six goals and delighted his nation’s supporters with exhilarating shows of skill during the competition in Brazil and has subsequently earned himself a £63 million move to Real Madrid.

The Spanish giants have a longstanding reputation for purchasing Galácticos, and it is understandable that the Santiago Bernabéu faithful will be salivating at the prospect of Rodríguez in the white of Los Blancos.

A venerable forward line of the Colombian, Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema looks likely, with the new man potentially taking up the number ten role in Carlo Ancelotti’s 4-2-3-1 system.

There is no doubt that Rodríguez has all the attributes to be a real star in the Spanish capital.

His clinical eye for goal was well and truly on show at the World Cup, with his presence in Madrid’s attack sure to make them an even more dangerous offensive unit.

Add to this his ability to create for others, showcased in his Ligue 1 high 12 assists for Monaco last term, and you have a global superstar in the making.

However, Rodríguez’s introduction also has the potential to impinge on the playing time and role of other members of the Madrid squad.

In tricky away games Ancelotti has been known to field an extra central midfielder, reverting to a bespoke 4-3-3 formation; in this instance one of the four afore-mentioned attackers would miss out on the starting XI.

Ángel di MaríaOther attacking stars such as Ángel di María and Isco also must be scratching their heads and wondering just how much of a role they will play in 2014-15.

The Argentine had a good second half to last season and showed glimpses of his ability at the World Cup, yet still rumours circulate over his club future.

The former Benfica man played in a slightly deeper role in the season run-in last term and at times was almost a third central midfielder.

However, the opportunity to continue in this role may well be limited given the summer signing of Toni Kroos and the continued presence of a host of world-class midfielders vying for a starting berth.

At the time of writing, Di María’s future looks like it will be elsewhere.

After joining Madrid last summer from Malaga, Isco made an immediate impression and looked like a player capable of being on the Italian coach’s teamsheet on an ever-present basis.

However, the form of others and something of an unlucky streak saw him used as a substitute more often than not in the campaign climax.

With Rodríguez a new direct competitor for the number ten role, Isco’s chances to play are set to be stifled further.

With the gifted youngster missing out on Spain’s squad for the World Cup, the playmaker could not be blamed for considering whether his future lies away from the Santiago Bernabéu.

Although Rodríguez looks set to be a real star for Madrid in the upcoming season, his addition could well end the tenures of two supremely talented stars in the Spanish capital.

I am a freelance football journalist from Northern Ireland living in Broome in Western Australia. I have worked for top media outlets such as FourFourTwo, goal.com, Soccerlens, Football Fancast and Here is the City. I am a lifelong and long-suffering Tottenham fan. Follow me on Twitter at @90MinsOnline
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