Colombia legend Pide Valderrama has urged Everton’s James Rodriguez to ‘play the football he knows how to play’ and get back to form ahead of his country’s clashes with Brazil and Paraguay.
Rodriguez had been in fine form earlier this season following his move to Goodison Park, making a flying start to life in England.
Injuries have limited him since those opening two months, though, with a spell out on the sidelines across December, leaving him struggling to find similar form for Everton since.
Indeed, Rodriguez has not managed an assist in the Premier League since the 2-2 draw with Liverpool in October and has only managed two goals in the 13 games since then as well.
It’s raised questions about his happiness and position under Ancelotti, as well as whether he should be part of Colombia’s plans in the next international break.
That’s a big debate, given Rodriguez is undoubtedly Everton and Colombia’s best player and Valderrama has urged him to get back to doing what he does best.
“I only ask James to play well, to play the football he knows how to play, because he has quality,” he told El Tiempo.
“He’s a technically gifted player, he’s got a good pass, a good hit, and he always scores goals; he lost his game, now he’s picking it up again.
“He used to get the ball and never made a mistake. If he loses it, let him come back and ask for it. If we don’t pass it to James and Cuadrado, then who do we pass it to?
“If James Rodriguez is playing well, he has to be called up; if he’s not playing well, he shouldn’t be called up.
“If he’s going to be brought in playing badly or injured, it’s not going to work and it’s going to damage the Colombia national team.”