Barcelona Linked With PSG Star Amid Messi’s Disapproval: Why Should Setien Go For Him?

Paris Saint-Germain's Argentinian forward Angel Di Maria in training
Paris Saint-Germain's Argentinian forward Angel Di Maria attends a training session in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, west of Paris, on March 3, 2020, on the eve of the French Cup football match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Lyon. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP) (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

It is a well-known fact that Barcelona make their transfer plans keeping Lionel Messi in their mind and the Argentine’s approval is deemed necessary to bring in a new player. However, now it seems that the said tradition would be broken.

IB Times reports that Messi’s international teammate Angel Di Maria has been linked to the Spanish giants, but the Barca forward is in disagreement with the club’s policy to sign the PSG man. Don Balon had previously reported that for the last few seasons Messi had wanted his club to sign Di Maria, but finally, the Argentine magician thinks that it is time for his club to look elsewhere.

Could Di Maria improve the Barca squad?

The greatest feature of Di Maria’s career has been that after each fall, he has risen from ashes like a phoenix to make an impact again. Real Madrid are well known for their tendency to swap the vital members of their squad with more talked-about stars. Di Maria became a victim to this policy when Los Blancos replaced him with James Rodriguez after the 2014 FIFA World Cup. While Rodriguez has never been able to mark for the side, the PSG midfielder is still going strong.

The one summer that Di Maria spent with Manchester United was marred by controversies and underperformance, leading his transfer to the Paris club a season later. At the French capital, he has always been overshadowed by the likes of Cavani, before the arrival of Neymar.

BARCELONA, SPAIN – MARCH 07: Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona celebrates after scoring his team’s first goal during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Real Sociedad at Camp Nou on March 07, 2020 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)

When the Brazilian arrived at the club, breaking all transfer records, it was believed that the Argentine would be excess to PSG’s needs. However, even with a trio of Cavani, Neymar and Mbappe; Di Maria is still a vital piece of the PSG jigsaw puzzle, and thus there is no reason for us to believe that he would not be able to uplift the current Barca squad.

Why should Setien go for him?

Although the Argentine international has played in the right-wing for most of his career, at PSG, he had to often perform at different positions to support his teammates. At times he was deployed at the centre, behind Mbappe, whom he complimented tremendously. Throughout his footballing life, he has provided excellent assistance to the star players of his team; the only difference being Ronaldo has now been replaced by Mbappe.

Even this season the ex-Benfica man has made 14 assists in 26 appearances in the Ligue 1. The 32-year-old has also completed three key passes per 90 minutes in the league, highlighting the same quality. The is no reason for Mbappe not to be swapped by Messi next season onwards.

However, this does not mean that Di Maria is unable to find the back of the net himself as in his 144 appearances in the French top tier, he has so far scored 47 goals. The ex-United man has also taken 2.8 shots per game, making him a constant threat to the opposition defenders.

Indeed, Di Maria is at an advanced stage in his career, and there are scores of examples where players of his age are moving to lesser leagues. However, that might not be the case with the PSG man. It may be uncertain as to how long he would take to get adjusted to a new club or for how many summers more could he continue to wear the Barca jersey, but he still has enough steam in him to perform at the highest level for some more time.

Stats from Whoscored.