Official: James Rodriguez departs Everton for Qatar outfit

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Official: James Rodriguez departs Everton for Qatar outfit

James Rodriguez departs

Following a Jekyll and Hyde 12 months with Everton, the Toffees have confirmed that Colombian star James Rodriguez has departed the club to sign for Qatar outfit Al Rayyan.

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Signed from Real Madrid in the summer of 2020, Rodriguez was a clear statement of intent from the blue side of Merseyside. Joining up with former managerial favourite Carlo Ancelotti on Merseyside, who managed him in Spain, Rodriguez hit the ground running.

The creator hit three goals and three assists in his first six games for the club, helping Everton into an early lead of the Premier League table, and was for all the world looking like a brilliant addition to the Toffees side.

However, it all began to unravel, with James recording just a further 3 goals and 1 assist in the remainder of the 38 game season. By the end, the Colombian had dropped out of Ancelotti’s plans completely, and upon the arrival of Rafa Benitez after Ancelotti rejoined Madrid, was frozen out.

With speculation rife all summer about his next destination, no move across Europe was forthcoming, leaving a move to Asia or to the MLS as the only two viable options for the 29-year-old.

And it was the former that Rodriguez has opted for, joining Al Rayyan for an undisclosed fee.

Who are Al Rayyan?

With the World Cup of 2022 set to be played in Qatar, the domestic competition could be thrust into the limelight in the next few seasons.

Al Rayyan are currently managed by ex France international Laurent Blanc, and have taken 2 points from their opening 2 games in the Qatar Stars League. Rodriguez will link up with one time Everton transfer target Yacine Brahimi, and becomes the second high-profile player to depart England for Qatar this summer, following the sale of Toby Alderweireld.

Will Rodriguez see out his career in the middle east, or is this simply a stop gap until a return next summer?

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