James Rodriguez’s arrival at Real Madrid could spell the end of Sami Khedira and Angel di Maria’s careers at the Santiago Bernabeu and Old Trafford could be a suitable destination for either (or both) of the World Cup finalists.
New midfield signing Ander Herrera made an impressive debut for Manchester United in their opening pre-season match against LA Galaxy but there is a distinct lack of strength in depth in United’s midfield which Louis van Gaal will look to address.
Sami Khedira would certainly provide some guile in the heart of the midfield alongside Herrera. The German plays in what many know as the ‘Makelele’ role, marshalling the midfield from a position just in front of the back four, breaking-up play when necessary.
Two seasons ago, Khedira was one of the first names on the Real Madrid team sheet. A succession of injuries have hindered his career with the European Champions though. Last season, he managed just 18 games after being sidelined for five months with a knee injury but recovered magnificently to start the Champions League final and play a crucial role in Germany’s World Cup success.
In 2012/13, his last injury free season, Khedira’s passing accuracy was 84%, he won 48% of his aerial duels and made no defensive errors in 25 league games. The statistics prove the former Stuttgart midfielder would certainly tighten up what has been an uncharacteristically frail United defence in recent years.
The German’s current Real Madrid teammate Angel di Maria would strengthen United’s midfield from an attacking perspective. The Daily Express report that Madrid have told United the Argentinian is for sale which van Gaal may deem too good an opportunity to turn down.
Last season, Di Maria was forced to battle for his place following the arrival of Gareth Bale, finally earning his place back following Carlo Ancelotti’s decision to switch to a 4-3-3 formation. Ultimately he proved crucial in Madrid’s pursuit and success in achieving La Decima.
However, with the arrival of James Rodriguez who plays as a No. 10, Madrid will likely revert to a 4-2-3-1 formation next season. Coupled with the arrival of Toni Kroos, it is difficult to see where Di Maria fits into the starting XI.
Both United and Paris St Germain are rumoured to be after the winger, but with PSG currently facing issues with financial fair play, United could be in pole position to sign the midfielder. As we reported earlier this month, according to Spanish newspaper AS, United have already tabled a bid with Madrid.
Di Maria scored 11 goals in 52 appearances whilst providing 26 assists for his team-mates last season which is an impressive return. His versatility highlights how good an option he could be for United as he is both a fantastic winger and a wonderful creative midfielder.
Of the two, Di Maria would arguably be the better option due to his versatility and creativity across a number of attacking positions. But with Ed Woodward stating there is money in the bank, why not try to sign both of the Madrid stars?