Is it a good signing? Dunno. A sensible one? Hmm. But James Rodriguez to Everton is all sorts of bloody ridiculous fun.
All too easy to forget that this is all supposed to be fun on some level. When each of us first kicked a ball or first got really into watching a particular team of players kicking a ball, we enjoyed it. It’s why we’re here.
So fair play to Everton for once again making the most fun signing of the transfer window with their capture of Mr Headline himself, James Rodriguez.
Now there are all sorts of sensible articles that could be written about this. One could sit back and stroke one’s beard and ponder whether Carlo Ancelotti can get the best out of the Colombian this time, or even debate whether he was ever that good to begin with. This is not one of those articles, worthy and, let’s be honest, better as they may be.
Honestly, right now let’s just enjoy this one. Just the simple sentence “Everton have signed James Rodriguez from Real Madrid” should be enough for any football fan with blood still flowing through their veins to get behind. It’s lovely stuff.
Is it a good signing? Don’t know, maybe. Is it a sensible one for a club that already has an eye-wateringly high wages-turnover ratio? Hmm, probably not. Is it exciting and fun? A million per cent yes.
Everton, to their enormous credit, are absolutely great for this kind of caper, signing all sorts of mad players from all sorts of daft elite clubs. If West Ham is the place where footballing dreams go to die, then Everton is where they go to have a damned good think about what they’ve done. Moise Kean, Gylfi Sigurdsson at a push, assorted Arsenal players.
Even the manager fits the bill and, having coached James at both Real and Bayern Munich, was probably a bigger factor in this move coming to pass than the fabled Goodison Park atmosphere. Ancelotti is/was an elite-level manager who has suffered a couple of setbacks in his most recent jobs. It was still a massive coup for Everton to get him, especially as it clearly opens doors to ramp up the kind of elite-reject-with-a-point-to-prove signing that was already their stock-in-trade.
The two-year contract with the option of a third definitely does make sense for all concerned. If it all goes tits up, Everton aren’t left paying through the nose for five years; if James can regain the (possibly illusory?) form that made him a classic Real presidential ego buy all those years ago, then he could still just about get another crack at a (no offence) truly elite club.
He will, as the boy Stead has noted, either be brilliant or crashingly dreadful and loaned out in January having been reduced to a punchline and a meme. Either is fine.
But that’s all for another time. Right now all that matters is that this is a genuinely exciting transfer. At a time when West Ham have decided their fans have not yet quite suffered enough, and Spurs and even, heaven help us, Newcastle are making sensible square-peg signings for the square-shaped holes in their squads, then hurrah for Everton and their heroic “F*ck it, why not?” gambles.