Manchester United smashed the British club transfer fee record paid for a footballer earlier today, Tuesday, when the club confirmed the £59.7 million arrival of Argentine attacker Angel di Maria from Real Madrid. There are few players in English football who would command such a figure, but if left-sided forward Eden Hazard were put on the market by Chelsea, then he too may attract such a figure - but how do the two compare on the field?
Both players competed at the recent World Cup tournament in Brazil.
Interestingly, both di Maria and Hazard also made the same amount of appearances in the competition - five - for their respective nations, Argentina and Belgium.
As is demonstrated in the data table below, when it came to touches on the football on a per game basis, di Maria completely eclipsed the 51 average enjoyed by Hazard.
With 82 touches on the ball each match, di Maria was able to exert more influence on the field for his country, however, that is not wholly the case in this example.
Hazard has a superior passing accuracy, created two more goal-scoring opportunities (one chance created every 28 minutes compared to di Maria's haul of one per 38 minutes) and also returned a brace of assists.
Di Maria bettered Hazard when it came to putting the ball in the net, with one goal from five outings.
|2014 World Cup||Nation||Touches / apps||Pass Acc||Cross Acc||Chances Created||Assist||Shot Acc||Goals||Apps||Mins|
How di Maria will fare in a more physical league for Manchester United remains to be seen - and it is here where Hazard also has the advantage as the Chelsea man is now in his third year in England.
Who do you think is the superior left-sided forward - Manchester United's new signing or Chelsea's coming-of-age Belgian?