Over the course of this summer transfer window, big name players have jumped at the chance to come to the Premier League.
Over many years, some big stars have excelled and thrived in England’s top flight while others have found it a struggle. This summer, Manchester United spent an incredible £150m on players, one of them being Angel Di Maria from Spanish giants Real Madrid. Another Premier League club that has splashed the cash is Arsenal, who in previous years have avoided making big money moves. This year the Gunners signed Alexis Sanchez and the season before smashed their transfer record to bring Mesut Ozil to the Emirates for £42.5m. With big price tags on both Di Maria and Ozil’s heads, which player will live up to their expectation in this pulsating league campaign?
Starting with Argentine wing wizard Di Maria, the club record £59.7m signing is sure to turn the Red Devils into genuine title contenders again. Despite the former Benfica man’s notable pace and skill to beat a player with ease, one other attribute that often goes unnoticed is his stamina. With new boss Louis Van Gaal favouring the 3-5-2 formation, Di Maria fits in perfectly when it comes to patrolling the wings and attacking the opposition aswell as helping his fellow full back when under pressure. With the likes of Wayne Rooney, Robin Van Persie and most recently Radamel Falcao, these four elite players will definitely combine and provide goals and assists on Di Maria’s behalf of the highest quality.
Last season, Di Maria finished as the leader of the assists chart in the top five European leagues with 17 to his name and accumulated more assists than Antonio Valencia, Ashley Young and Nani combined. Furthermore, since the start of 2010/2011, only Lionel Messi has produced more assists than Angel di Maria in La Liga. When you have the likes of Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo in the same team as you, it’s hard to showcase what you could do to the opposition. However, now at Man United, Real Madrid could live to regret the decision to let the nippy winger leave.
On the other end of the spectrum, Mesut Ozil has already spent one season experiencing the challenges and obstacles of the Premier League. It’s safe to say that his first year in England wasn’t the best, and in some games he was all but non-existent. However, that year of experience in English football will enable him to get to grips with the Premier League this time around. Presently, he is also surrounded by better players, with the likes of Sanchez and Danny Welbeck being added to the Gunners artillery, which means he could unleash his killer through balls that can cut opposition defences in half and rediscover the form he was producing for Real Madrid.
Despite making a reasonable start to his Arsenal career in 2013/2014, making eight assists and scoring five goals before the December 10, Ozil’s permances and impact dropped dramatically, only making two assists and scoring zero goals after then in the league and Champions League respectively. But Ozil’s record at Real Madrid is something to applaud.
Since the former Werder Bremen playmaker joined the Bernabeu giants, Ozil produced 47 assists, the same as Messi, and an astonishing 14 more than Di Maria. With his fantastic technical ability and outstanding vision, Ozil has the qualities and capabilities of recapturing his form this year and could prove vital to Arsenal’s challenge for the title.
Overall, both players have the potential to be the poster boy of the Premier League, but both need to do it in a different way. Di Maria needs to hit the ground running straight away – mostly because Man United cannot afford any more time stuttering along behind their former title rivals – while Ozil needs to reproduce the form and performances that tempted Wenger to get his cheque book out..
But, if Ozil suffers another disappointing season for the Gunners, then it won’t take long for fans to get on his back once again and he’ll be in serious danger of being handed the dreaded ‘flop’ label.