Angel Di Maria has proven his quality since signing for Manchester United in the summer whilst Michael Carrick‘s importance to the team has been hammered home since he returned from injury in October.
The pair have been named by WhoScored as two of the more influential players in the world during 2014, not just for their club.
Di Maria has created more clear chances than any other players in the top European leagues in 2014, impressively one ahead of Lionel Messi with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo not even in the top five.
It’s a marker to prove just how influential Di Maria has been for both Real Madrid and United this season and why he’s classed as one of the world’s best.
The midfielder excelled in Ferguson’s last season but struggled for top form under David Moyes. But the statistics also back up Carrick’s importance to the team, the England international making 7.7 tackles for every foul he concedes, an impressive ratio which places him second in Europe.
Atletico Madrid’s Juanfran is top with Southampton’s Nathaniel Clyne the only other Premier League representative in the top five, albeit he has made almost double the tackles of Carrick.
Whilst United’s team has changed frequently during the season, the stats just back up that both players remain to of United’s key men.