Jorge Valdano, who was a Real Madrid player, manager and sporting director, has criticised James Rodriguez for swapping the club for Everton.
The Colombian star completed a move to Goodison Park this week in a deal that has been met with widespread praise and excitement, particularly on Merseyside.
There has even been – surprisingly- a mostly positive reaction from the Spanish press, with most choosing to focus on the positives for Madrid and not criticise the player for what is very much a step-down.
Valdano has decided to go against that, though, criticising Rodriguez for going to Everton and reuniting with Carlo Ancelotti on Merseyside.
“For me it was disappointing, I expected much more from James in the first cycle, and I expected much more in this second cycle,” he told Onda Cero, relayed by Goal Spain.
“In the end, many times, players need a coach who makes them feel comfortable, and for him that coach is Ancelotti.
“It gives me the feeling that he is not going to Everton, he is going to Ancelotti Football Club.
“He is a player of superior talent, but that must be expressed on the field, and it must be done with continuity.
“Today’s football has a very high demand and he goes to a particularly competitive league, if we talk about continuity in effort and concentration.”
While Valdano’s points may be valid to some extent, that is unlikely to make much difference for Everton fans.
Rodriguez is undoubtedly the most significant signing to arrive at their club in some time; in fact, some would argue ever. Reuniting with Ancelotti is not exactly a negative either.
The player has enjoyed his best years under the Italian coach, and it’s easy to imagine that will be the same at Goodison Park, even if the Premier League is more demanding than both Spain and Germany.