The Premier League is hailed as the most physical league in the world – and often thought to be the best league on earth. But only one Premier League player featured in the FIFA World XI: Manchester United’s Angel Di Maria.
Is the Premier League actually hindering football’s World Class players?
Angel Di Maria became the Premier League’s most expensive signing in August 2014 when he signed for United from Real Madrid for £59.7million. There is no doubting his ability, nor his status as a world class player. But in recent months, he has not been the player he was praised for being at Real Madrid.
This could partially be down the unfortunate break in at his home, which could have knocked his confidence somewhat. He was rightfully subbed at half-time against Sunderland, but showed real promise against Arsenal on Monday. The hit and miss nature of his season is hopefully down to the fact he has had to adjust massively to life in England, and he will be back to his best next season.
Alexis Sanchez has absolutely thrived in the Premier League since joining Arsenal in the summer. He’s an all round player, who works every minute of the game, and any team would want him. He may have had issues with fatigue in his debut season, which is understandable given his work rate. Sanchez is Arsenal’s top goalscorer and could be considered the signing of the season. He’s the player everyone has been talking about – a world class star.
Radamel Falcao has had what can be considered a bumpy ride. His signing went down to the wire on transfer Deadline Day, and fans were quick to back him. His performances at Atletico Madrid and Monaco were world class, but Falcao unfortunately suffered a knee injury that kept him out of the World Cup, which has clearly affected upon joining Manchester United. He hasn’t been scoring goals for fun this season, but he also does not get many chances in the team.
Disappointment was etched on his face when he was subbed against Sunderland at Old Trafford, and he did not feature in the FA Cup tie with Arsenal. He has started with the Under-21’s side in a fixture against Tottenham. It is clear to see that Louis Van Gaal will not be getting the best out of the Colombian; and the Premier League may not be the best option for Falcao.
One of the big stars in Atletico Madrid’s outstanding 2013/14 season was Diego Costa. He also joined the Premier League this season, joining Chelsea, and has taken the league by storm. Costa sits comfortably in Chelsea’s top goalscorer chart – with 17 league goals to his name, as well as two assists. He strengthened an already formidable Chelsea side, who are on course to win the league. Rather than hindering Costa, the Premier League has seemed to make him a better player.
David De Gea came to the Premier League at just 20-years-old, and has become one of the world’s best goalkeepers during his time in England. De Gea has matured at Old Trafford, becoming United’s most valuable player; and the only player to play every minute of the season so far for the Red Devils. De Gea has done a lot more than just saving goals – he has saved them plenty of points to keep them up the table.
But how long can De Gea stay in the Premier League? With rumours of the likes of Real Madrid eager for his signature, he may not be here for much longer.