Why Real Madrid Should Keep Di Maria

Now that the impending news of Gareth Bale’s transfer to Real Madrid is likely to happen sooner rather than later, what future is there for Argentine winger Angel Di Maria? Cristiano Ronaldo, Isco and Bale are likely to form the attacking trident behind Karim Benzema, which doesn’t leave any room for a player that has been a regular ever since joining the club from Benfica in 2010. However, I believe that it would be a big mistake to let the tricky winger go and certainly a huge benefit to the rumoured clubs that are interested in him, such as Arsenal.

It is easy to let a transfer to one of the most famous club in world football go to your head, especially when you are only 22 years old. Many big names have tried and failed in the famous white kit in the Spanish capital, whilst others have arrived and never even been given a chance to show what they are capable of. Di Maria signed for the historic club after three seasons in Portugal, where he quickly established himself after a move from Argentine football and became a fan favourite relatively quickly. A 25m euro transfer was substantial, if not shocking, for a club of Madrid’s wealth and he instantly made the smooth transition to La Liga.

35 league appearances with 6 goals and 11 assists did him no harm in his first season, although he initially struggled at the beginning of the 2011/2012 campaign and ended up appearing only 23 times in the league. Even though his goal tally fell to 5, he claimed 15 assists and was beginning to establish himself in a team where teammates such as Kaka were trying to take his starting position off him.

Last year was not a successful one for the club, particularly after the league win the previous season, and they played second fiddle to Barcelona throughout. Jose Mourinho appeared to fall out with everyone at some point or other and Di Maria was one of the few that seemed to escape the wrath of the Portuguese tactician. He got on with his job and contributed with more goals than previous years, although he also achieved less assists.

Whilst he might find it difficult to hold down a regular start if Bale does arrive, they will need quality replacements to help out during a long season and they won’t find many better than the Argentine.

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