James Rodriguez remains an “extraordinary player” and is destined to “shine again” regardless of whether he leaves Real Madrid or sticks around at Santiago Bernabeu, says Fernando Morientes.
The Colombia international playmaker has found competitive game time to be in short supply during the 2019-20 campaign.
Zinedine Zidane has handed him just four La Liga starts and only 13 outings across all competitions.
More was expected of the 28-year-old when he returned to the Spanish capital from a two-year loan spell at Bayern Munich in the summer of 2019.
With a regular role proving elusive with the Blancos, transfer talk has once again started to build around the talented South American.
A move to the Premier League, which has been mooted for some time, is said to be one of the options available to James.
Morientes can appreciate why clubs would be expressing interest, and why a frustrated performer may be opening himself up to offers, with a player of such ability deserving a much grander stage.
The former Madrid striker believes a return to prominence will be enjoyed, with James too good to remain in the shadows for long.
"Whatever happens in the remainder of the season, I don't think James has gone without pain or glory," Morientes told El Espectador.
"We're talking about an extraordinary player, mythical in Colombia, for his national team.
"Not every player can succeed at the same level.
"In his first spell [at Real Madrid], James had extraordinary games and demonstrated his talent, which he put into use at Real Madrid with marvellous goals.
"He did have to leave and now that he's back, he hasn't had the involvement that surely he or the fans would've wanted.
"But succeeding at Real Madrid is very difficult because of the competition, and he himself occupies a position where there are lots players with talent and big futures.
"It also depends on the kind of player the coach wants. In this case, Zidane is surely thinking that he has others who perform better [than James].
"For me, James is an extraordinary player and I'm convinced that we'll see him shine again at Real Madrid or anywhere else."