The stats that prove Ancelotti is correct with Angel di Maria criticism

Manchester United midfielder Angel di Maria is among the worst culprits in the Premier League for losing possession, according to the statistics.

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has once again criticised his former player, Angel di Maria, explaining a fresh reason why he allowed the Argentine to join Manchester United in the summer. 

Talking to Onda Cero, as quoted by the Manchester Evening News, Carlo Ancelotti told the online radio station that the 26-year-old's tendency to 'lose control' means he won't be missed. 

'Di Maria could take matches by storm with his energy, but he also used to lose control sometimes, misplacing important passes,' 

On comparisons with Di Maria to Real Madrid's replacement James Rodriguez, the former Chelsea manager added: 'People should think twice before saying James can fill Di Maria's boots, because they're very different players.' 

It's not the first time Di Maria, who has enjoyed a great start to life in Manchester United, has been criticised with his carelessness with the ball and during the World Cup a few pundits took exception to this particular aspect of his game.

Against Switzerland in the World Cup, Angel di Maria was criticised by both BBC match day pundits Alan Hansen and Alan Shearer as he gave the ball away 51 times before hitting the winner in extra-time to send Argentina into the quarter-finals. 

Unfortunately for Di Maria, the statistics for this season at Manchester United also back the Real Madrid manager's criticism that he losses the ball too often.   

The top five players guilty of losing possession in the Premier League this season

  PositionTeamTouchesUnsuccessful TouchDispossessedLoss of PossessionAppearancesMins Played
Kieran Trippier DF Burnley 839 5 7 275 11 986
Dusan Tadic MF Southampton 702 12 24 232 11 941
Alexis Sánchez FW Arsenal 721 26 22 227 10 781
Ángel Di María MF Man Utd 659 6 13 221 9 734
Yannick Bolasie MF C. Palace 486 29 12 215 11 900

Although he hasn't lost possession as much as Kieran Trippier, Dusan Tadic or Alexis Sanchez in the Premier League, the amount of minutes and touches the Argentine has had means he is more culpable than the others within this regard.

  TouchesMinutes per Loss of PossessionMins Played
Yannick Bolasie 486 4.19 900
Dusan Tadic 702 4.06 941
Kieran Trippier 839 3.59 986
Alexis Sánchez 721 3.44 781
Ángel Di María 659 3.32 734

In fact, Angel di Maria has the worst loss of possession rate out of anybody in the top flight who has played more than 300 minutes of Premier League action. An astounding statistic for a player with his amount of goals and assists, not to mention rave reviews, he has had this season. 

In a normal 90 minute match, the statistic shows Angel di Maria loses the ball roughly 27 times a game. Although, as long as he keeps adding to his goals and assists tally this season, the possession loss rate will continue to remain of small significance in the overall picture. 

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