By the time Niko Kovac takes charge of Bayern Munich, James Rodriguez will have played under four different club managers within the span of just two seasons with Real Madrid and Bayern, respectively. The Colombian international had an underwhelming start to his Bayern career after being brought in by Carlo Ancelotti, but under Jupp Heynckes, he’s looked completely rejuvenated; so much so that Bayern are planning on permanently buying him from Real Madrid during the summer.
Heynckes’s preference to play James in a slightly deeper midfield role seems to have been the magic touch, as he’s scored 6 goals and tallied 12 assists in 32 appearances across all competitions; all but one of his goals and one of his assists have come after Heynckes took charge back in October. His versatility in Bayern’s midfield makes him such an effective presence in the squad, and he admitted (via Bundesliga.com) that he doesn’t mind being asked to play a slightly deeper role than he would’ve been used to from his time with Madrid:
I try to be an option for every coach, whether it’s in midfield or further forward. I always try to support my teammates the best I can. The more I play, the more I feel I can give. That’s what I want, to always play!
James also revealed that he’s quite excited to play for Kovac and that his hunger for titles is part of what makes him the right choice to succeed Heynckes:
He’s a young coach and he has done well at Eintracht Frankfurt. I hope he comes here with a big desire to win titles. That’s what a big club always wants.
If James’s form under Heynckes is any barometer of how he’ll do under Kovac, he’s in for another fantastic season and can really hit the ground running right from the start.
We just can’t help ourselves: