Real Madrid’s Colombian star James Rodriguez has returned to training after breaking his foot - but could his absence be the reason behind Los Blancos' dip in form?
The 23-year-old World Cup sensation could make his first team return on 5 April against Granada, after the international break, and Carlo Ancelotti will be happy to have him back.
With Rodriguez in the side, Real only lost three La Liga games in the 20 matches he played, while they lost as many games and drew another in the eight games he missed.
In addition, Los Blancos' only defeat in the Champions League this season came in the absence of James.
Rodriguez returned to practice on Tuesday, 48 days after suffering his injury against Sevilla on 4 February, and was able to complete the whole session.
The World Cup Golden Boot winner often played in the place of Isco during the first half of season, while he would also gave Ancelotti additional options upfront.
The Italian could either replace Isco, who has lost a bit of form lately, or switch to a 4-4-2 formation, which would likely see Gareth Bale or Karim Benzema dropping to the bench.
James is Madrid’s fourth-highest scorer of the campaign with 12 goals, and he also assisted a further 10.
When it comes to efficiency he even outperforms Bale, with a goal every 200 minutes - compared to the Welshman’s rate of a goal every 211 minutes.
Only Ronaldo, who nets every 81 minutes, and Benzema with a goal every 165 minutes, have better rates than Real’s most expensive signing last summer.
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