Zinedine Zidane has reiterated that James Rodriguez will stay at Real Madrid insisting that he will play – even though the Colombian has failed to feature regularly in the past few weeks. James Rodriguez has played only 29 minutes in the La Liga since September 21st and was overlooked even though Gareth Bale picked up an injury against Sporting Lisbon in the UEFA Champions League.
Asked whether he would leave Madrid if he was in Rodrigeuz's shoes, Zidane replied: "No, what a question. It's not true that he's not playing at all. He’d stay here at the club, a great club, and he will play."
"A player of his standing, of course, he wants to play more, but it is down to me to decide,” he added. "I know he is going to be an important player for Real Madrid. He hasn't been playing recently because others have come in and done a very good job. There's not much more to say – you look at the rest of the footballers and they are playing very well too, but James is a key player."
With Gareth Bale out for the coming months, Zidane is going to need all hands on deck. The French legend is going to need someone who can come in and do the job right from the get-go and admits he might be able to pull it off given he has many ‘great players’.
"It's quite hard to see those injured players miss out," he said when asked about Bale. "We do everything in our power, but sometimes that is not enough. Things happen when you play. We know we are doing things well. It is upsetting when you see a player out injured – our latest injury, for example, Gareth Bale. He is going to be out for quite a while.
"We are going to maintain our focus on Saturday's game, which is a tough game after two demanding outings.
"Sometimes you may think we might change formations or what our plans are, but we have a set idea and a lot of versatile footballers who can play in many positions That's the benefit of having great players."
Real Madrid host Sporting Gijon tonight before travelling to take on arch-rivals Barcelona in this season’s first El Clasico next weekend. And someone like James Rodriguez might really come in handy given they’re without one of their best players of the season.
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