Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino compared Cole Palmer to fellow attacker Angel Di Maria during a press conference on Friday. The former Manchester City player has been a sensation at Stamford Bridge since joining the Blues in the summer. And Palmer has already done more in the Premier League than Di Maria managed to do at Manchester United with the 21-year-old regarded as a key figure in the Chelsea team already.
Palmer joined Chelsea on transfer deadline day in the summer for £42.5million after coming through the City academy. And the ace has already matched Di Maria’s three Premier League goals, despite only featuring in eight top-flight games for his current employers.
Palmer has oozed quality during his appearances for Chelsea and has already illustrated that he could go on to enjoy a stellar career in the Premier League. Di Maria, on the other hand, proved to be a huge flop after joining United from Real Madrid in 2014 and was offloaded to Paris Saint-Germain just one year after moving to Old Trafford.
“He is more like Angel Di Maria,” Pochettino explained after being asked to comment on the comparisons between Palmer and Juan Mata. “You can see his body and the way he moves, he’s more similar to Di Maria.”
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United shelled out a then British record £59.7million to prise Di Maria away from the Santiago Bernabeu. The Argentine was bereft of European football during his time in the north west after United had finished seventh in the Premier League the previous season.
And he made just 32 appearances for the Red Devils in all competitions. He contributed 11 assists on top of his three strikes but ultimately performed well below expectations and never truly settled in England despite some sparing highlights such as his exquisite goal away at Leicester.
Di Maria simply flattered to deceive at Old Trafford as United underwhelmed on the pitch and was sold to PSG 12 months after joining as the English club recouped £44.3m. The 35-year-old is currently plying his trade for Benfica and starred in last year’s World Cup final as Argentina defeated France.
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“My intention was always to stay at Real Madrid,” Di Maria told Marca after leaving United. “I do not know much about what happened as these are more things for representatives. These things happen in football. I left Madrid, but I had the most beautiful last ovation from the Bernabeu.”
And the winger has also spoken about his dire relationship with his former Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal. “My problem at Manchester was the coach,” the player told Argentine TV network TyC Sports in August 2021.
“Van Gaal was the worst coach of my career. I would score, assist, and the next day he would show me my misplaced passes. He displaced me from one day to the other, he didn’t like players being more than him.” Of his early Chelsea showings, Palmer’s Stamford Bridge career will be a lot more successful than Di Maria’s at United.
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