Bayern Munich playmaker James Rodriguez is a “typical No. 10 who doesn’t like tracking back”, according to former midfielder Michael Ballack.
The Colombia international linked up with the Bundesliga champions over the summer in an initial loan move from Real Madrid which includes an option for a permanent switch.
He has faced criticism since his arrival at the Allianz Arena, with questions being asked of his ability to adapt his game to meet the demands of life in the German top-flight.
Ballack believes that is down to his mentality as a creative influence, but believes the 26-year-old will be given time to get things right as he has the full support of manager Carlo Ancelotti.
The former Bayern midfielder told Bild: "He is a giant footballer, but he still has problems with the pace of the game.
“Against Schalke his pace going backwards improved. He is just a typical No. 10 who doesn’t like tracking back.
“James has the advantage that he has a good connection with his coach.
“Carlo put him in a difficult situation because there was already criticism of him. For a player this is a big advantage if you have a coach who is standing beside you when you're being questioned."
James was given just five minutes of action towards the end of Bayern’s 2-2 draw with Wolfsburg on Friday, as they squandered a two-goal lead to be held on home soil.
His next opportunity to impress could come against big-spending Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday, with Ancelotti’s side heading to the French capital to face his former club in Champions League competition.
Ballack believes that contest offers Bayern a chance to prove their strength against a formidable continental foe, with it up to the likes of Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery to show that they can mix it with PSG stars Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.
"For the Bavarians it is a chance to determine to where they stand,” added the ex-Germany international.
“Above all, the attacking unit of Paris will want to show that they can rightly play for the Champions League title.
“For the Robbens and Riberys, it is a great opportunity to show the Neymars and Mbappes that they can.
“For Bayern, a draw would be a good result. PSG have more pressure on them following their spending."
Both Bayern and PSG opened their respective 2017-18 Champions League group stage campaigns with a win, with the former seeing off Anderlecht 3-0 while the latter crushed Celtic 5-0 in Glasgow.