Nobody can accuse Real Madrid of lacking patience with regards to Jese Rodriguez, the player they stood by time and time again over the past few years. Whether he was stirring up controversy or trying to recover from a serious knee injury, the capital club had his back for as long as they could. Some would say they stuck by him for too long.
At just 23 years old, there was certainly still time for Jese to evolve into one of the best forwards on the planet, but he was developing far slower than many at the club had forecast following his return from a crippling anterior cruciate ligament injury in 2014. The homecoming of Alvaro Morata and the emergence of Lucas Vazquez meant that his playing time was going to be limited in the coming season, so those two facts combined to accelerate the parting of the ways.
For Los Blancos, the time had finally come to cut the cord and to move on once and for all, which is why they allowed the Canary Islander to move to Paris Saint-Germain with, reportedly, no buy-back clause included in his contract. The deal made sense from a sporting point of view, given how little the player was likely to feature in 2016-17, but from an off-the-field point of view it made even more sense. Jese has been the cause of a number of headaches for those in the Madrid hierarchy ever since he emerged through their youth team, so they can now sleep easy safe in the knowledge that any further controversy is now the responsibility of the French champions.
The list of Jese’s off-field issues is lengthy. In 2009 he lashed out at a referee and was handed a heavy 15-match suspension, but the club stood by him. He once threatened not to play a match for the B team because he wasn’t going to be allowed to wear the No 10 shirt, but the club stood by him. On a tour of the United States, he kicked up a fuss when asked to warm up with the goalkeepers, but the club stood by him. He publically criticised Jose Mourinho in the 2012-13 season for not giving him enough first-team chances, but the club stood by him. He had a stop on the sidelines over a Carlo Ancelotti substitution in a match against Elche, but the club stood by him. He focused his energy on releasing several reggaeton singles, but the club once again stood by him.
All of the off-the-field drama was seemingly worth it for the club and for Florentino Perez, one of Jese’s biggest supporters, given how good he was projected to become on-the-field. Yet that injury he suffered in a collision with Sead Kolasinac in a Champions League match against Schalke stalled his development right at the point when it looked like he might live up to the club’s high expectations. Since returning he has not looked at all like the player many expected he would be, which is why Madrid finally decided to give up on the Jese project.
There is obviously a chance that Los Blancos will come to regret letting Jese leave, if he does flourish in the French capital. However, no matter how he fares, they no longer have to worry about his next drama.