Pitchside

Assist king Di Maria is in different class to Manchester United’s current crop

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Having now completed his move from Real Madrid to Manchester United, Angel Di Maria has become both the club's and Britain's most expensive signing of all-time.

The Argentine attacking midfielder has cost around £60 million, smashing the previous British transfer record of £50m, set by Chelsea's 2011 signing of Fernando Torres, from Liverpool. He also easily breaks United's club transfer record set by David Moyes in January when Juan Mata joined from Chelsea for £37.1 million.

Di Maria arrives with plenty of pedigree having starred for Real Madrid as they won the Champions League for the tenth time in the club's history last season. He was key in midfield for the Spanish giants as Carlo Ancelotti brought the best out of him by playing him in a withdrawn role in the side.

Previously, the 26-year-old occupied the right-side of the front three with Cristiano Ronaldo on the opposite flank, but with the world record signing of Gareth Bale last summer, Ancelotti had to find a new place for Di Maria, and he did. The Argentine, attacking from deeper, and much more centrally was vital to their success in Europe and made the most assists in Europe's top five leagues last season with 17. In fact, he made 14 in 2014 alone, which was one more than any other player managed across Europe for the entire season.

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Di Maria arrives at Man United facing competition in attacking roles from Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata, Adnan Januzaj, Danny Welbeck and then the likes of Antonio Valencia and Shinji Kagawa.

On paper, he's much better than the lot, which is why Louis van Gaal is willing to smash records across Britain to acquire his signature.

But how does he compare to United's current attacking options? How much of an upgrade is Di Maria?

Di Maria really was superb for Madrid last season and they will miss him dearly in attack. Compared to Man Utd's attackers last season, the Argentine averaged more created chances per 90 minutes than them all. Di Maria averaged 3.42, which was one more than Juan Mata averaged and he was fantastic, leading the way in chance creation after joining Manchester United.

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The Argentine attacking midfielder made the most assists in Europe's top leagues last season so it comes as no surprise to see him head and shoulders above United's attackers in that department. He averaged 0.65 assists per 90 minutes last season, which was much more than Wayne Rooney, who was United's leading assist-maker, who averaged 0.37.

In terms of scoring goals, Di Maria's isn't one to get on the score sheet a lot and that is shown in the statistics. He averaged just 0.15 goals per 90mins last season, which was lower than all of United's compared attackers (Mata, Rooney, Januzaj, Welbeck).

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His attacking Performance Score wasn't bad, though, with only Rooney (38.23) averaging a better Score per 90 minutes than Di Maria (28).

Judging by the statistics compared here, it is quite clear that Di Maria would be an enormous upgrade on what United currently have. The only problem United face is where and how to play Di Maria in Van Gaal's 3-5-2 system. Getting him in the same team as Juan Mata and Wayne Rooney - even Adnan Januzaj - will see them improve a lot in the final third of the pitch.

The Argentine is a superb signing, but United have a task on their hands to accommodate him in a regimented system.

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