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Real Madrid

Real Madrid put James in the Champions League shop window

The Colombian attacking midfielder has played far more relatively in the Champions League than in any other competition as Madrid look to offload the player
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James' season at Real Madrid is markedly different ing situation depending on which competition is being analysed. Despite being Colombia captain, the player in 2016/17 so far is overall the third least used member of the Real Madrid squad by coach Zidane. Only Mariano and Coentrao have played less than James. A stat that has led to situations such as James' rage at being substituted against Leganés. And the fact he didn't even come on against Atlético in the recent derby.

James angry after being substituted by Zidane
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James angry after being substituted by Zidane

James in the Champions League

But things are very different in the Champions League. In Europe he's 12th on the list of most used players out of the 25 squad players. And he's started four out of the eight matches he was available for (he didn't travel to Warsaw due to injury). Notably, James has started the two group stage matches against Borussia Dortmund and the first leg against Napoli.

James out of the picture for Zidane

But this isn't necessarily a good thing for James in terms of his future at Real Madrid. The player still isn't in Zidane's plans for next season, but the situation is a difficult one for the club. The player cost 80 million euros and Real Madrid are desperate not to see their asset devalued: in European competition they've found a perfect shop window to show off the player to potential buyers and maintain his value.

James in action against Bayern Munich
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James in action against Bayern MunichCHRISTOF STACHEAFP

Isco prejudiced in Europe by James' situation 

And in part that's because James' performances haven't dropped away. When he's on the pitch he gives it his all. But the situation though has prejudiced another player: Isco. The player from Málaga is a direct competitor for James in the position, and has only played 77 minutes in Europe (the second least of any player, with only Mariano having played less). That's 241 minutes less than James in the Champions League, and yet looking at the other competitions, Isco has played 274 minutes more than the Colombian. A marked difference.

Update 12 May 2017: James has reached an initial agreement with Manchester United.

Real Madrid: Champions League minutes

Player Minutes Cristiano Ronaldo 810 Carvajal 720 Keylor Navas 720 Benzema 658 Kroos 644 Varane 630 Marcelo 611 Sergio Ramos 611 Modric 592 Bale 496 Casemiro 450 James Rodríguez 318 Lucas Vázquez 291 Kovacic 213 Pepe 199 Danilo 180 Nacho 180 Morata 164 Marco Asensio 155 Fábio Coentrão 96 Kiko Casilla 90 Isco 77 Mariano 5  Álvaro Tejero 0 Rubén Yáñez 0

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