Bayern Munich came to his rescue, and the Colombian has thrived in Germany. So much so, that he’s regained his place among the best attacking midfielders in the game.
He tops our list of the best at his position – who else made the cut?
1. James Rodriguez, Bayern Munich
This season has brought James full circle. He earned a move to Real Madrid after a stunning showing at the 2014 World Cup. Having left Madrid on loan last summer, he heads into this year’s World Cup at the top of his game again.
2. Lorenzo Insigne, Napoli
There were so many things to love about Napoli this season, even if their title bid ultimately fell short. Insigne’s form was one of them, leading a thrilling attack with flair, skill and no little drive.
3. Heung-min Son, Tottenham
4. Nabil Fekir, Lyon
If anyone was worried that Fekir’s severe injury debacle would derail his progress, they needn’t worry anymore. The Frenchman has been absolutely superb this term, leading Lyon’s charge for a Champions League spot.
5. Christian Eriksen, Tottenham
Eriksen must have felt that Harry Kane and Dele Alli had been hogging the headlines for too long. It’s been a stunning season from the Dane, who also scored a hat-trick in a World Cup qualifying play-off to seal Denmark’s spot.
6. Douglas Costa, Juventus
It’s strange that Bayern Munich let him go to Juventus on loan in the first place. The Brazilian is certainly not complaining – he’s hit top form for the Serie A‘s best side. He’s going to make Bayern rue their decision someday.
7. Memphis Depay, Lyon
Cut free from the pressure and expectation at Manchester United, Memphis has thrived. He had a run of six games with either a goal or an assist at one point, making sure Lyon didn’t miss a beat when Fekir was injured.
8. Luis Alberto, Lazio
What Insigne did for Napoli this season, Alberto did for Lazio. Ciro Immobile and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic stole the headlines for the Rome team, but the Spaniard’s incisiveness and vision underpinned their play.
9. Paulo Dybala, Juventus
It says it all that a season where he scores twice as many league goals while recording nearly the same number of assists as the previous year is considered a disappointing campaign. Granted, Dybala hasn’t hit the heights of last season, but he’s still a rising star.
10. Raheem Sterling, Manchester City
It’s tempting to wonder how good Sterling’s season would have been had he been a better finisher. Would we be talking about him in the same breath as Mohamed Salah? Of all the players to have grown under Guardiola’s tutelage, the Englishman showcases it best.
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