4 key passes, 7 dribbles, did Arsenal sign wrong Real Madrid star?

Angel Di Maria

Would Angel di Maria have been a better fit for Arsenal than Mesut Ozil?

Last night's El Clasico was a game worthy of the hype. Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo both found the scoresheet but there was one star who really proved his worth.

Especially in the first half, Argentine winger Angel di Maria was sensational, and Dani Alves simply could not cope with his direct approach.

Di Maria provided two assists, providing four key passes, also making seven successful dribbles, bouncing back from a poor display in the Clasico at the Nou Camp in the Autumn.

On this occasion the winger dazzled, and it was through him that Real Madrid's best moments came.

Back in August, it was claimed by The BBC that Premier League side Arsenal were working on a deal to bring Di Maria to The Emirates, only to sign Mesut Ozil instead.

That addition was heralded as a game-changer for the club, although the course of the season has shown that Ozil is not capable of curing Arsenal's ills on his own.

Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti took plenty of flak at the time for his decision to sell Ozil, but having to move one top star on for financial reasons, he later declared Di Maria as more important to his vision for Madrid.

The Italian told SkySports last year: "I decided the departure of Ozil. I prefer Di Maria for the balance of the team.

"It's true, that maybe Di Maria has less quality than Ozil but on a profile of dynamism, character and help to the team I preferred Di Maria."

Ozil may have the profile, but Di Maria was valued as a better fit tactically for Madrid, and it's fair to wonder especially in light of his performance last night if he would have also been a more astute signing for Arsenal.

The winger, capable of playing on either side, would be a perfect fit on the left flank, offering ideal balance with a fully fit Theo Walcott on the right, and his link up with Benzema suggests a combination with Olivier Giroud would also be a good fit for him.

Di Maria's direct style and tricky dribbling is reminiscent of what Marc Overmars once brought to Arsenal, and combines his attacking duties with a willingness to track back and work for the team - something Ozil was criticised strongly for failing to do in the defeat to Liverpool.

The winger was linked with a switch to Monaco in January after falling out of favour but he is certainly back in Madrid's good books right now; which makes any side's chances of signing him this summer all the more difficult.

With 7 goals and 15 assists this season to Ozil's 5 goals and 10 assists, Di Maria certainly has stepped up.

Would he have been a better fit for Arsenal? The display against Chelsea illustrated the Gunners need players willing to dig in and work hard. Would Ozil have had the stomach for it?

Di Maria's display last night showed what he was capable of in their narrow 4-3 defeat, and regardless of how he would have got on at Arsenal, it underlined just why Carlo Ancelotti was so reluctant to let him go.

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