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James Rodriguez X Napoli is a beautiful throwback to a simpler time

Who doesn't want to see a maverick South American no.10 charming a Naples crowd?

The transfer window is a confusing place.

Between Operation Pogbackback, Mats Hummels being re-signed after being re-re-signed and Besiktas bidding for Ben Gibson, it’s hard to know where you stand.

Praise the lord, then, for the reassuring presence of James Rodriguez.

The name’s Bond

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The name’s Bond

Rodriguez finds himself unwanted at two elite clubs, with Bayern Munich and Real Madrid both nonplussed about building their side around Colombia’s third-most expensive export.

For many, it would be an uncomfortable situation. Rodriguez turns 28 next month and should, in theory, be entering the prime of his career.

But this isn’t your average footballer.

This is a South American no.10 with a left foot so cultured it could turn a pint of Carlsberg into a glass of pinot noir.

Where better to park such a talent than the Stadio San Paolo, home to 60,000 crazed Napoli fans?

In such turbulent transfer times, Rodriguez to Napoli makes perfect, uncomplicated sense.

This is a club moulded in the image of a carefree left-footed playmaker. This is a club who will give Rodriguez the keys to the Ferrari and watch on grinning as he does doughnuts in the car park.

Napoli needs Rodriguez. Rodriguez needs Napoli.

It just looks right

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It just looks right

Serie A has historically been the home of the playmaker. Cast your minds back to the nineties, when Rui Costa, Zinedine Zidane, Francesco Totti and Alessandro Del Piero did battle.

Or the noughties, which saw Pavel Nedved, Kaka, Clarence Seedorf and Wesley Sneijder pulling the strings and directing the orchestra. Now it’s the turn of Rodriguez.

But there’s more to the move than the feel-good factor.

Rodriguez enjoyed his best Real Madrid season playing under current Napoli manager Carlo Ancelotti, outscoring all his team-mates aside from Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema.

Teeth out for the lads

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Teeth out for the lads

Ancelotti then sent for Rodriguez at Bayern Munich, although he was dismissed three months after bringing the Colombian to Germany.

A potential NSFW trio of the combative Brazilian Allan and superlative Spaniard Fabian Ruiz, with Rodriguez operating just in front, would bring balance to Ancelotti’s midfield.

The Colombian’s ability to find pockets of space in the midfield and final third would also bring Kalidou Koulibaly’s range of passing into play, as long as Napoli are able to keep hold of the Senegalese defender during the summer transfer window.

Where’s his top?

Getty - Contributor
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Where’s his top?

Napoli, who finished second in Serie A last season, will need all the help they can get ahead of the 2019/20 campaign.

Juventus are pushing to add Matthijs de Ligt to an already enviable defence, while Inter Milan are set to invest heavily to provide Antonio Conte with a squad to challenge for the Scudetto.

But, putting the trophies to one side for a moment, Rodriguez to Napoli would nourishment the soul.

I haven’t felt this strongly about a move since Andriy Shevchenko returned to Dynamo Kiev and completed his perfectly symmetrical career path.

Artistic

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Artistic

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