Former Bayern Munich midfielder Stefan Effenberg is of the opinion that James Rodriguez must leave the German champions in order to get more playing time as he reaches the peak years of his career.
James joined Bayern in 2017 on a two-year loan deal, with the Bundesliga side forking out €13 million for those two seasons and having an option to make the move permanent for €42 million (£36m/$47m) at the end of this campaign.
The Colombian, despite some stand-out performances at the Allianz Arena in 2018-19, has been used sparingly by new coach Niko Kovac, managing only three full matches across the entirety of the season.
As a result, a Bayern hero feels the 27-year-old must move on from the German top flight – and his parent club, Real Madrid – if he is to reach his full potential during potentially the most important stage of his career.
“If he looks at his personal situation in a reasonable manner, James must realise that the right thing for him to do is to leave the club,” Effenberg wrote in his column for T-Online. “He has to play and have fun kicking the ball.
“If he is only allowed to play seven, 10, 12 or 15 minutes, he is lost. In the Bundesliga this season, he has only played 90 minutes three times – that's not enough. As such, he cannot stay with Bayern.
“Even at Real
Another player in the top tier of German football who is generating debate is Eintracht Frankfurt's Luka Jovic, whom the side recently purchased outright from former side Benfica.
Indeed, Jovic is said to be garnering interest from Real Madrid, Barcelona and several others in Europe's elite, and Effenberg does not believe Adi Hutter will be able to hold on to his star man.
“Eintracht Frankfurt was the perfect club for his development,” the 50-year-old said. “Both parties can be very happy with how it went.
“Jovic can thank Frankfurt for the opportunity and their complete confidence, while the club can thank him for 25 goals in 43 matches across the season. Absolute top performances.
“But the next step, I'm relatively sure, is that he will leave and move to a top club. That's the logical way in football.”