Make no mistake: signing Angel Di Maria is a big deal for Paris Saint-Germain. PSG already has a talented squad, but the Argentine is on something of another level, at least from the club’s current midfielder options. Up until now, PSG has had two top-level strikers in Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani. But they’ve lacked a midfielder of a similar level to provide them service. They have that player now in Di Maria.
The Ligue 1 outfit came very close to signing him last summer after Di Maria helped Real Madrid win the Champions League, but Financial Fair Play restrictions forbade it. So Di Maria wound up at United, a club he didn’t really seem to want to join and, after a time, didn’t really want him either. Unfortunately for United it took a British record transfer fee of around $93 million, to find that out.
The combined fees United and PSG have paid for Di Maria in successive seasons now make him the most expensive player in history. And while he’s not entirely blameless for a fairly mundane season at Man U, calling his time at Old Trafford a failure is a bit unfair. In his one season in the Premier League, Di Maria created more chances than anyone at the United other than Juan Mata, who he tied with 51.
Di Maria is certainly a talented enough player to make Louis van Gaal regret letting him go so easily. But unlike when he was shown the door at Real Madrid, Di Maria seemed to want to go. Van Gaal didn’t seem convinced, and with the influx of players coming in this summer Di Maria did the smart thing by going to a club where he’ll be a guaranteed starter.
Manchester was never really Di Maria’s scene either, with his home having been burgled while his family was home a few months after moving there.
Now Di Maria has the right kind of platform upon which to stage his personal revenge drama. PSG is a growing power that is showing an increasing propensity for being able to match it with Europe’s top, top clubs. In Zlatan and Cavani he has a pair of capable foils. With his pace, creativity, and perhaps a dash of spite for the two powerhouse teams who’ve cast him aside, Di Maria could be what PSG needs to fulfill the ownership group’s real ambitions of moving beyond Ligue 1 success and seriously challenging for the Champions League.