Thanks to Real Madrid and Barcelona deciding they were surplus to requirements, Angel di Maria and Alexis Sanchez are tearing up the Premier League and terrorising its defences, but who has made the best start with their new club?
Di Maria has instantly adjusted to life in England following his record-breaking £59.7 million move and already his statistics are similar to those of a player who has been plying his trade in this country for some time. In just three appearances he has notched two goals and two assists, while creating an impressive three chances per match.
The Argentine international kicked-off his career at Old Trafford with a 0-0 away draw with Burnley, in which he looked dangerous yet unable to impact the scoreline. He then enjoyed an exciting display in the club's 4-0 rout of QPR. Here he scored his debut goal for the club to break the deadlock, before laying on a cross for Juan Mata to despatch for his side's fourth.
He impressed against Leicester, and despite the club's second half collapse, he treated the Old Trafford faithful to further moments of brilliance. Again, he established himself as the focus of each and every attacking move, scoring a divine chipped finish inside the box, before assisting Ander Herrera for the club’s third.
Alexis Sanchez has experienced slightly more Premier League action, benefiting from his earlier arrival at the club. He found himself watching from the sidelines during his side's 3-0 victory over Aston Villa last weekend, yet he still has four appearances to his name.
He, too, has started the new Premier League season in excellent fashion. In just four top flight appearances, the £32 million signing has endeared himself to the Arsenal faithful with two goals and an assist. Wenger has chosen to deploy Alexis in a number of positions across the final third throughout these matches, although he has proven most effective in a wide-right role.
He terrorised James Milner and ex-Arsenal defender Gael Clichy in the Gunners' 2-2 draw against Manchester City just a fortnight ago, having previously opened his account for the club in a 1-1 draw versus Leicester.
|Pass Accuracy (%)||Total Scoring Att /App||Shot Conversion (%)||Shot Accuracy (%)||Dribbles Won /App||Touches /App||Dispossessed /App|
|Ángel Di María||77.92||2.00||33.33||33.33||2.67||74.33||1.00|
Di Maria has both scored and fashioned chances more often than Sanchez, while also displaying his technical quality and vision in his passing, evidenced by his 77.92 percent pass completion rate to Sanchez’s 74.46%. Alexis has averaged the greater number of shots per game on average, 2.5 per game, but Di Maria’s conversion rate is substantially higher than his Chilean rival's, despite proving significantly less accurate in front of goal.
Meanwhile, the Argentine international has averaged 3 key passes per game to Alexis’ 2.75, and completed 2.67 dribbles per game to the Arsenal man’s 2.5, as well as being dispossessed less often; one occasion per game on average, compared to Sanchez’s 2.5 times. Both players have accumulated an almost identical number of touches per appearance.
Based on early impressions, Angel Di Maria looks set to enjoy the more prolific Premier League career. Nonetheless, both players have an exceptional amount to offer.