Manchester United are on the brink of signing Argentina wideman Angel Di Maria, having agreed a British record fee of around £60m with Real Madrid for the services of a 26-year-old who made four more league assists than any other player in Europe’s top five leagues last term.
Such a capture will put wide smiles on the faces of the Old Trafford faithful, but Stretford Enders hoping for a glut of Di Maria goals are set to be disappointed, if only momentarily.
The bwin.com odds compliers have set the former Benfica man’s Premier League goal line at 8.5 for 2014/15, with 17/20 apiece available about him bagging over or under that mark.
Quite simply, the fact that the Rosario native has never managed more than seven strikes per term in nine campaigns as a senior professional makes betting on unders a must in this market.
It’s not that Di Maria isn’t a smart finisher: 46 club strikes in all competitions since August 2009, despite largely being stationed on the wing, tell their own tale.
However, his league-goal stats also speak for themselves and seven from 32 La Liga appearances in 2012/13 is Di Maria’s best haul to date.
He may have only started 22 of those games, but Carlo Ancelotti threw on the 5ft 11in winger from the off in 27 Spanish top-flight fixtures last term, and Di Maria managed three fewer than the previous campaign.
A case could be made with regard to Los Blancos’ forward three of Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale hogging all the striking action last term, as the trio accounted for 63 of the Champions League winners 105 La Liga goals.
Di Maria won’t get any nearer the top of the attacking pecking order at United either though, with Louis van Gaal as likely as not to utilise his soon-to-be new signing on the wing, where he’ll feed Juan Mata, Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie.
With nine Di Maria league goals in a single season unprecedented, get on the 17/20 on unders while it’s hot.
*All stats courtesy of Squawka.com