Following his half-time substitution against Sunderland, Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney leapt to the defence of Argentine playmaker Angel Di Maria.
The £60m record signing failed to have an impact in the 2-0 win over the Wearsiders, but the winger will soon be back to his scintillating best according to his skipper, who said:
“He has got a lot of experience and I’m sure he’ll figure it out.”
With three goals and eight assists in 18 Premier League starts, it would appear the former Real Madrid ace isn’t having as tough a time of it as is being portrayed.
The four set ups registered by Radamel Falcao and Wayne Rooney are the next best tallies in the in the creation category, but it’s likely he’ll have many, many more by this point next term.
These respectable statistics indicate that once the son of Rosario has ‘figured it out’ Di Maria is going to be quite a force in the top flight and his exploits across his Los Blancos career adds further legitimacy to this notion.
His maiden season at the Bernabeu (in which he featured 35 times in total) yielded six La Liga goals and 11 assists, not entirely dissimilar from his current statistics.
However, in 2011/12, a campaign where his league starts almost halved from 29 to 16, Di Maria scored five times and laid on a further 15.
His Benfica days produced similar results.
In the first campaign following his €8m recruitment from local side Rosario Central, the 27-year-old failed to find the net in the Primeira Liga, scoring just once across 44 in all competitions.
His second season with the Iberian giants saw Di Maria rustle the net on four occasions, despite playing nine games fewer, while he bagged ten in his third year.
The figures recorded during his days at Central also support the trend.
In ten outings in 2005/06 he failed to get on the scoresheet, but celebrated six strikes in 25 outings in the season that preceded his Portuguese switch.