James eyes Juventus solution

The Corriere della Sport announced yesterday the interest in James from Juventus, someone they’re looking to sign in January. This summer Madrid had received offers for him, and he was encouraged to accept them but turned them down flat. This was one of the reasons that Pogba, who Zidane had requested, didn’t arrive. It would have needed good money for the transfer, and the most obvious one, not only for the price he could have commanded but also because he was seen as “dispensable”, was James. But he was determined to stay and prove himself at Madrid. His first year was excellent. He lost his place under Benitez and ever since then nothing has been the same. This season things haven’t improved.

Corriere dello Sport's front page on James link to Juventus.

Corriere dello Sport's front page on James link to Juventus.

The impact of Bale, Benzema and Cristiano

James is, like others before (Özil and Di Maria) and now (Isco and Asensio), a victim of the BBC model. Özil left through the door that Bale entered. The others have had problems fitting into a team that, with those three front men, needs more pure midfielders than attacking playmakers. However, for reasons known to Florentino, they have three of these in their squad. Between them they must fight for the minutes freed up by the BBC, for which they’re at a disadvantage to forwards Morata and Lucas Vazquez, and for places created by the injuries in the middle of the park, where Kovacic is also involved and who this year has been very effective.

Croatian midfielder Mateo Kovacic has been getting more minutes thanks to midfield injuries.

Croatian midfielder Mateo Kovacic has been getting more minutes thanks to midfield injuries.

A new year in Turin?

So it’s difficult for James. It is clear that Isco is ahead of him in the pecking order. So too is Asensio. And even though right now Madrid face another injury, with Kroos, it’s not necessarily going to make it any easier for James. Kroos was there before, but Modric wasn’t, and James still didn’t play. Now Modric has returned, Casemiro is expected back soon, and Kroos will be fit again in January. James is starting to see Juve as a solution. There he would enjoy the confidence that he hasn’t had here. Confidence is the life-blood of a player, as we’ve seen with Benzema and Bale, whose growth has been helped with a guarantee of a starting berth.