James Rodriguez
James Rodriguez has replaced Angel Di Maria at the Santiago Bernabeu Getty

Real Madrid star James Rodriguez has allowed Bernabeu supporters to forget about Angel Di Maria in less than four months at the Santiago Bernabeu.

With Di Maria urging Real Madrid to let him go from the very beginning of the summer, the Spanish giants paid Monaco £63m for the Colombian international as his replacement – even before they completed the sale of Di Maria to Manchester United.

Having being one of the sensations of the World Cup, finishing as the tournament's top goalscorer with six goals in just five games, Rodriguez was expected to take over Di Maria's mantle as Real's creative fulcrum upon his arrival.

However, a number of pundits and supporters questioned whether the Colombian star was capable of filling the void left by his Argentine predecessor.

Nobody doubted his talent, but they believed that he was a number 10 rather than a conventional midfielder and not as industrious as the current Manchester United star.

But Rodriguez is proving the doubters wrong and has fitted into Carlo Ancelotti's team like a glove.

Prestigious Spanish newspaper Marca reported on Tuesday that the Colombian star is even surpassing Di Maria's impressive figures at Real Madrid.

"James Rodriguez joined the club with the arduous task of replacing Angel Di María, had to bear the weight of his £63m price tag and had to adapt to a more physically demanding new position on the pitch. He has passed each test with flying colours, becoming one of the first names on the team sheet in the process," Marca said.

"A comparison with the departed Argentine's figures from this time last season gives further evidence of how well James has done. After 15 games of the 2013/14 campaign, Di María had scored the same number of goals, but had provided one fewer assist."

Indeed Rodriguez has been one of the outstanding players in Real Madrid's last two victories, the crushing triumphs over Liverpool and Barcelona.

Rodriguez provided an assist in both games, and during the Clasico proved he could work as anyone, with only Toni Kroos covering more ground.