'Lille have our own James Rodriguez'

Rene Girard compared Marcos Lopes to the €80 million Real Madrid man after the Ligue 1 giants wrapped up a loan deal for him with Manchester City

Lille coach Rene Girard believes that Marcos Lopes can be the club’s James Rodriguez this season on loan from Manchester City.

James departed French football this summer after a stellar World Cup with Colombia, bagging Monaco an estimated €80 million from Real Madrid.

Girard, who guided Lille to third in Ligue 1 last season, believes Brazilian-born Portuguese Lopes shares plenty of characteristics with James and tipped the 18-year-old to make a major impact.

“Our gazes fell on Lopes,” he told RMC Sport. “City needed to loan out this young Portuguese lad.

“He comes having participated in this year’s Under-19 European Championship, where Portugal were beaten by Germany in the final.

“He has a great left-foot and is a good passer. If I was to compare him in style to anyone, I would say that James Rodriguez and him share plenty of similarities.

“What he brings us is bundles of technique. He is young and ambitious. After a discussion with their reserves coach Patrick Vieira, Man City decided that Lille would be an ideal place for him to grow further as a player.”

Lopes, who was named Man City’s 2012-13 academy player of the year, has made five competitive appearances for the Premier League champions’ senior team over two seasons, all of which came in domestic cup games.

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