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Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Do Man United have the two biggest flops of the season?

Purchasing players in the transfer market is always a risky business, sometimes it can be great, most of the time players come in and fulfill their expectation and to a certain extent repay their transfer fees, some players however never live up to their expectations and have fans cursing the club for spending money on them. This season we have seen £16 million man Mario Balotelli completely flop at Liverpool and Eliaquim Mangala who cost Manchester City £32 million has also not stepped up to the mark. Manchester United however have arguably brought in the two biggest flops of the 2014/15 Premier League season in Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao, both of whom have performed well below the standard they had set at their previous clubs.

Angel Di Maria joined Manchester United after the World Cup for £59.7 million, becoming the most expensive player in British history. Despite the pressure that came with the price tag he settled in quickly to life in Manchester with excellent individual performances against QPR and Leicester, unfortunately for the Argentine this great form did not continue. Di Maria has since hit a tough patch and has yet to even score a goal or register an assist in 2015 leading many to question the former Madrid star.

Radamel Falcao has been similarly unimpressive since his summer arrival to Manchester United. Falcao came in for a hefty loan fee of £6 million, but with United also paying his wages in full it is believed the one year loan deal is costing the club a total of £16 million. Along with a big fee, the Colombian also brought a big reputation to Manchester from his days as a player at Porto, Atletico Madrid and his parent club Monaco. The 29 year old was just back from a serious knee injury that saw him miss the World Cup when he joined Man United and was naturally slow to acclimatise to the Premier League. He has made many substitute appearances this season but is yet to really nail down a starting place in the team, his miss on Sunday against West Ham was an indication of the lack of confidence the striker has.

Both the South American players have seen huge drops in their stats at Manchester United compared to their previous form. Di Maria had a great season for Real Madrid in 2013/14 winning the Champions League but also hitting great heights with his individual stats. In all competitions last season the Argentine scored 11 goals and had 22 assists, put that up against the 4 goals and 6 assists he has at United this campaign in league and cup.

Even after missing a chunk of the season through injury, for Monaco Falcao scored 11 goals in nineteen appearances in all competitions, a lot better than his United stats with only 4 goals in fifteen league games for the Red Devils. For the amount being paid for his services Louis Van Gaal is sure to expect more from his player.

The race for the top4 is now really starting to get competitive and if Man United are to seal one of those Champions League places they will need the likes of Di Maria and Falcao to up their performances. With Di Maria it could be a case of low confidence, similar to Ozil at Arsenal after starting strong he has dropped off in his performance. Di Maria just needs the right guidance and support and he can turn his luck around, Falcao on the other hand may never reach the heights he once has. After such a serious injury he might be unable to get back to the level he was used to especially at the age of 29. At the rate he is going it looks very unlikely Van Gaal and United will be taking up the option of purchasing him on a permanent basis.

stats courtesy of

photo credit: Falcao Sempre PiĆ¹ Lontano Dal Manchester United: E La Juve Torna in Gioco via photopin (license)