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Manchester United - Is James Rodriguez better than Eden Hazard?

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Manchester United have been linked with signing Porto's James Rodriguez. He would cost even more than a certain Belgian.

If you have not yet heard of James Rodriguez the chances are you soon will. The 21-year-old Colombian is already an international star, and playing for compatriot Falcao's former club Porto.

He is said to be being lined up by Manchester United as a replacement for Nani, who is expected to be sold in January or next summer.

Rodriguez is a huge talent, and is currently tearing it up with Porto, with who he signed in 2010. United have again been linked with his signature today, for a whopping £36 million.

This is more than Chelsea paid for Eden Hazard this summer, so how good is Rodriguez and is he worth the money?

Before we take a look at him, the issue of net spent must be considered. If United can fetch £25 million for Nani, then it will only amount to an £11 million outlay on Rodriguez. It probably wouldn't be a bad upgrade.

Like another winger United are interested in, Thomas Ince, Rodriguez is predominantly left-sided, and would put pressure on Ashley Young for his place in the starting line-up, but his versatility means he can play across the forward line including as a deep striker.

So far this season in 12 games he has scored 4 goals and provided 5 assists, contributing a goal in 75 per cent of his matches, a very productive return for a young player the same age as Federico Macheda.

One of those goals came in the Champions League, a 1-0 win over big spending PSG. But it is not just this season he has impressed, last campaign he scored 13 goals for Porto and delivered 11 assists.

He has even been compared in his homeland to former national team hero Carlos Valderrama, because of his wand of a left foot, and the fact he too wears Colombia's number 10 shirt. 

So is he better than Hazard? That is a tough question to answer. The Belgian is also 21, and was snapped up from the French league, arguably inferior to Portugal's top division, this summer. Upon settling in England he has made an instant impression.

The very fact Rodridguez is being valued so highly tells its own story, as does the impression he has made in the Champions League this season. Until he moves to one of Europe's top leagues it will be hard to truly compare him to Hazard, but he has every chance of bettering the Belgian if he does, and United having missed out on the Chelsea man may just come up trumps if they land the Colombian.

Watch him in action here...

Is Rodriguez worth £36 million?

image: © chilangoco

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