Can Manchester United afford to splash £36m on this Primeira Ligue prodigy?


After suffering his fair share of frustrating during last summer’s transfer window, Sir Alex Ferguson managed to pull off a real coup by signing Robin Van Persie from his old rival Arsene Wenger.

I’d argue that the Dutchman has a genuine claim to being the best out-and-out striker in world-football. He’s got a certain grace and technical ability that the rest of the footballing world just can’t seem to match. Best of all, however, he knows where the back of the net is and has already showed his composure in front of goal this season.

Given that Manchester United already have Wayne Rooney to lead the line, it would seem that they are pretty strong going forward. So it’s somewhat surprising to see Abola report that Sir Alex Ferguson has listed FC Porto’s ace young centre-forward James Rodriguez as his top transfer target.

Whilst there’s no doubting the Colombian’s ability at such a young age, I’d rather see Sir Alex focusing on other areas of weakness within this United squad. With Rooney and RVP leading the line and the likes of Welbeck and Hernandez in reserve, they don’t need another striker. However, they do need a proper long-term replacement for Paul Scholes in the centre-of-the-park, another centre-back and a replacement for the aging Patrice Evra.

Yet it’s on Rodriguez, that Sir Alex seems to be placing his focus. This is all the more strange, given the Colombian’s £36m price-tag. Whilst I understand why Porto value the 21-year-old so highly, it’s an awfully big sum for a player that’s yet to prove himself in one of the top leagues. Whilst he’s a talent, there’s still a chance that he may choke at the top stage – as such, he’d represent a gamble for Manchester United. Chelsea spent a similar fee on Eden Hazard, a player that I’d argue is considerably better than Rodriguez.

Rodriguez grabbed 13 goals in 26 Primeira Liga appearance last season (I can work this one out! That’s a goal every two games) but largely impressed thanks to his direct running, confident footwork and ability to beat his man. These attributes have seen him compared to a younger, less fully-formed Cristiano Ronaldo. I can see why Fergie would be interested.

But unless Manchester United can seriously negotiate FC Porto down when it comes to their asking price for Rodriguez, they should focus elsewhere. Why can’t Sir Alex spend £30m+ on a world-class midfielder?

What’s your take? Would you want Manchester United to spend £36m on James Rodriguez?

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  • Nick D says:

    He is a winger doh!

  • pjch says:

    Good player but another winger. SAF has change the style of play and our wingers are somewhat redundant.Maybe 451 or a variation is not suited to United at the highest level especially as our midfield is slow and aged with Scholes and Carrick ( 2 players I have loved for years). For this system to work properly we have to have fast and mobile players there and a defensive midfielder of quality.

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