James Rodriguez frozen out of Real Madrid midfield

The Colombian international is falling further down Zidane's picking order and can't even rely on being the French coach's third substitution.

James Rodríguez, durante un partido del Real Madrid.
Denis Doyle Diario AS

As the 2016/17 campaign unfolds Colombian midfielder James Rodriguez is slowly becoming the forgotten man at Zinedine Zidane's Real Madrid

Frozen out

The player has been singled out for not being sufficiently committed during training sessions and has just made four starts for the club this season. Despite the absentees through injury in the Madrid midfield the Colombian didn't even secure playing time during Saturday's Madrid derby at the Vicente Calderon. 

ENTRENAMIENTO DEL REAL MADRIDGRA059. MADRID, 18/11/2016.- El centrocampista del Real Madrid James Rodríguez, durante el entrenamiento que ha realizado hoy la plantilla en Valdebebas, para preparar el encuentro que disputarán este sábado en el Vicente Calderón frente al Atlético de Madrid, correspondiente a la 12ª jornada de LaLiga Santander 2016/2017. EFE/Emilio Naranjo

Four starts 

James has made the starting XI in only four of Madrid's 18 games this season (Espanyol, Villarreal, Dortmund and Cultural in the cup). During the game at the RCDE stadium he was subbed with the game at 0-1. For the  Villarreal match he completed the 90 minutes and provided the assist for the Madrid opener in a 1-1 draw. He was the first player withdrawn by Zidane for the Dortmund Champions League game but fared better in the Copa del Rey game in Leon providing a trio of assists and played for the total duration of the game.

Real Madrid midfield/forward playing time (2016/17 season)

Kroos 1.391
Bale 1.254
Cristiano 1.121
Kovacic 972
Benzema 840
Morata 821
Modric 664
Morata 648
Asensio 646
Lucas 623
James 529
Casemiro 409
Mariano 45

Uncertain future

For the first time in his career, question marks are arising from his native Colombia and although injury problems can be used as an excuse for his stop-start season, unless there is a radical shift in positions, it appears that the 25 year old is destined for longer spells on the substitute's bench at the Santiago Bernabeu.