Wonderkid linked with Manchester United is 'best player in Serie A'

Manchester United were once heavily linked with Juan Iturbe, who is blossoming in Serie A.

On transfer deadline day we reported how Juan Iturbe, a player once dubbed 'the next Messi', had clinched a loan deal to Serie A side Hellas Verona.

Iturbe, 20, is owned by FC Porto but has only ever played six league games for them despite signing in 2011, loaned to River Plate in between.

The Mirror once wrote of him: "Although born in Argentina, Iturbe, seen by Fergie as a natural successor to Ryan Giggs, was raised in Paraguay where he played for top side Cerre Porteno."

Now in Italy, Iturbe's career in the country has got off to a cracking start.

So much that Opta powered website whoscored.com rates him as the best player in Serie A, after just three appearances.

This is based on their average calculations of player ratings, which are awarded via dozens of variant statistics. Iturbe's average is 8.39, ahead of second highest rated Ricky Alvarez of Inter on 8.3.

The base facts show that Iturbe has two goals and one assist, in two starts and one from the bench, including his last two starts against Bologna and Livorno.

The boy appears to finally be coming good. Playing as a right-forward, Iturbe has fired in an average of 2.3 shots per game, equal to Francesco Totti.

His dribbling has been what has bewitched opponents, passing them on average 5.3 times per game, a statistic equal to... wait for it... Lionel Messi.

Now discussing statistics only takes us so far with Iturbe, because his three appearances are a very small sample from which to judge, but his fast start has certainly been grabbing attention.

Just in the past week, the Italian press have linked Fiorentina, Napoli, and Juventus all with signing him, while Inter Milan's takeover will inevitably see them on the radar. 

Iturbe's agent has since insisted his plan is only purely to do well at his loan club, appreciating the opportunity and fantastic start.

If he continues his superb form, and ends the season even in the 'top five' best players, it will be some going for the youngster, and Porto might just find themselves rolling in more money than they could have anticipated.

Check out his goals below:

Could United do with Iturbe on one wing and Januzaj on the other?

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