Manchester United new boys shine in passing stats

Summer signings Daley Blind and Marcos Rojo lead the way when it comes to most accurate passing stats at Manchester United.

Ball retention is crucial in the Premier League where dictating proceedings is preferable to chasing.

That is why playmakers, be they holding or attacking, come at a premium, with the qualities they bring helping teams to tick.

Defenders that are comfortable in possession have also become a much sought-after commodity with modern managers looking to play out from the back and move through the gears rather than going from first to fifth with one aimless swing of a boot.

Manchester United were one side to look at addressing both areas over the summer using the funds entrusted to Louis van Gaal upon his arrival at Old Trafford to try and piece together a jigsaw which had become rather jumbled under his predecessor David Moyes.

Key areas in need of strengthening were identified and the spine of the side required the most work.

Daley Blind, a player Van Gaal knew well from his time in charge of the Dutch national side, was drafted in to provide steel and nous in midfield. Marcos Rojo was snapped up after impressing for Argentina during their run through to the 2014 World Cup final and a British record fee was splashed out to acquire his fellow countryman Angel Di Maria from European champions Real Madrid. All in all, close to £90million was shelled out on those three players alone.

It would, however, appear to have been money well spent, with fresh faces settling quickly in new surroundings and rising towards the top of the charts when it comes to ensuring that United put themselves in the best possible position to hurt opponents.

  PositionTeamAccurate PassTotal PassFwd PassTouchesAppearancesMins Played
Daley Blind MF Man Utd 407 454 101 557 7 630
Marcos Rojo DF Man Utd 386 448 205 570 7 596
Tyler Blackett DF Man Utd 316 359 151 424 6 462
Juan Mata MF Man Utd 301 328 55 398 8 577
Ángel Di María MF Man Utd 287 364 112 597 8 663
Wayne Rooney FW Man Utd 286 349 53 462 7 599
Rafael DF Man Utd 262 305 111 486 6 517
Ander Herrera MF Man Utd 254 287 78 359 5 366
Antonio Valencia MF Man Utd 216 249 56 379 6 388
Chris Smalling DF Man Utd 214 238 58 296 5 323
Phil Jones DF Man Utd 204 229 58 312 4 360
Luke Shaw DF Man Utd 154 183 56 304 5 431
Robin van Persie FW Man Utd 148 174 30 281 9 758
Adnan Januzaj MF Man Utd 104 126 34 220 8 345

Blind, as the link man between defence and attack, has become United’s go-to player and more of their play passes through him than any of his team-mates.

Rojo also shines when it comes to keeping possession in red hands, while Di Maria has had more touches than anyone else to have played more than 300 minutes of Premier League football for United this season.

The trio were brought in to add something different to the Old Trafford ranks, and they would appear to be delivering an immediate return on the investment.

Just a top-four finish to chase down now, then!

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