James Rodriguez's 'pity' at not playing at Goodison Park with fans

James Rodriguez tells Everton fans it is ‘a pity not to have played in Goodison Park with you’ in goodbye post – as the Colombian leaves the club without EVER starring in front of supporters in his doomed 12-month stint

  • James Rodriguez has joined Qatari side Al-Rayyan for an undisclosed fee 
  • The Colombian arrived at Goodison Park last summer on a two-year deal 
  • But the 30-year-old has swiftly become a big-name disappointment at Everton
  • The midfielder made just 23 appearances as injury blighted his debut campaign
  • He was out of favour with Rafael Benitez, failing to feature so far this season 

James Rodriguez has taken to Instagram to bid farewell to Everton fans after leaving the Toffees for Qatari side Al-Rayyan on Wednesday. 

The 30-year-old ended all speculation over his long-term future at Everton by joining Al-Rayyan for an undisclosed fee after missing all of the Blues fixtures this season.  

James travelled to the Middle East for talks on Sunday after initially being reluctant to make the move to the Qatari Stars League.

James Rodriguez took to Instagram with a goodbye to Everton fans alongside a photo of him

The Colombia international’s move means Everton fans never got to see him play in the flesh at Goodison Park and Rodriguez lamented the fact in his post. 

‘I want to thank my teammates, who welcomed me well, I wish them the best and I also want to thank Everton fans,’ he wrote.

‘A pity not to have played in Goodison Park with you, it would have been very nice.

‘I always tried to give my best and I always wanted to win , that is my mentality. I wish you all the best. JR10.’

The Everton outcast was confirmed as a new signing for Al-Rayyan on Wednesday

Everton have been keen to offload his £220,000-a-week wages to alleviate their Financial Fair Play concerns and he had been informed he did not figure in the plans of manager Rafa Benitez.

Al-Rayyan, coached by former Manchester United and France defender Laurent Blanc, had proposed a loan deal initially for James but a permanent sale has subsequently been agreed.

Rodriguez had previously been touted as an asset for Everton to bargain with in a swap deal with his former club Porto that would see winger Luis Diaz arrive on Merseyside but an agreement was not reached. 

Rafa Benitez (above) informed James at the start of the campaign that he is not in his plans

Rodriguez arrived at Goodison Park 12 months ago from Real Madrid to link up with former Los Blancos boss Carlo Ancelotti, with the signing creating great excitement amongst Toffees supporters. 

James enjoyed a great start to his Everton career, being the catalyst for the Blues’ table-topping early form. He scored three goals and registered three assists in his first six Premier League games.

But he failed to build on an encouraging start and reproduce his best form, not starting more than four consecutive Premier League fixtures for the remainder of the campaign as a calf injury blighted his debut season in England.

Benitez replaced Ancelotti, who returned to former club Real, earlier this summer and the Spanish coach gave Rodriguez a chance to prove his worth in pre-season.

Rodriguez’s Toffees career started brightly but is now surplus to requirements on Merseyside

The Colombian (right) is out of favour at Goodison Park and has not featured yet this season

Despite some appearances, the midfielder was informed by Benitez that he was no longer required on Merseyside and has been searching for a new club since the start of the Premier League season. 

Benitez refused to call up Rodriguez to Saturday’s 3-0 defeat away at Aston Villa, even though the Everton boss only named eight substitutes instead of the nine allowed in a matchday squad, with the Toffees currently in an injury crisis.

Rodriguez’s overall Everton record saw him score six goals in 26 matches, registering nine assists in his only season at Goodison Park.

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