Argentine midfielder Angel Di Maria was undoubtedly one of the top transfers this summer and has since taken the Premier League by storm, creating almost everything for United on the pitch, and getting ‘bums off seats’ at Old Trafford thanks to his dazzling displays.
After the huge £60 million transfer fee that United paid made him the most expensive signing in English football, it was safe to say that the former Real Madrid man came to Manchester with a great weight of expectation upon his shoulders. Many questioned whether he would crumble under the pressure like so many before him.
However, with three goals and three assists in his last five games, it seems that the skillful number seven has had no problem at all adapting to the English game. Di Maria’s sublime performances have helped elevate United up in to 4th place, and when you take into consideration the number of injuries they have suffered, as well as the under-performance of many, you have to tip your hat to manager, Louis van Gaal.
It is obvious to all those who have watched the Red Devils so far this season that Van Gaal is building his squad around Di Maria; making him the focal point of the team. The £60 million man has given United a new dimension to their play and the speed at which they attack. This is a player who you know will give you 100% for the entire 90 minutes, both up and down the pitch, providing you with goals, assists and even tackles, as he has shown at his previous clubs.
Now, there were many big name transfers in the summer, with Chelsea signing highly-regarded Spanish forward Diego Costa from Atletico Madrid. The aggressive centre-forward may very well be the leading goalscorer in the league thus far, however, this is a man who knew he was walking into a club that had finished 3rd the previous season and have, arguably, the strongest squad in the Premier League. Compare this to Di Maria, who was joining a Manchester United side that had finished an embarrassing 7th and are still in a phase of transition, with very few tipping them to come close to the league title, most placing them in 4th spot at best.
Therefore, in my opinion, it is Di Maria who has been the stand-out performer so far this season, as he has led an average United squad to a very respectable league position. I have no doubt that if he continues in the same vein throughout the course of the season, United may find themselves challenging again for the coveted Premier League crown.