Angel Di Maria and the 10 Best Argentine Players in Premier League History
Manchester United's new signing Angel Di Maria is set to make his English league debut on Saturday at Turf Moor.
According to the Daily Mail, the former Real Madrid star is the 50th Argentine player to grace the Premier League. This seems like a good opportunity to recount the 10 best Albiceleste players who have played in the Premier League era.
And in case you're wondering, Juan Sebastian Veron or Hernan Crespo do not make the cut...
Much can be said about Carlos Tevez's motivations and his tendency to disappear for large parts of the season after refusing to make substitute appearances in Champions League games, but he is undoubtedly a superb player.
Carlitos came to West Ham from Corinthians in 2006—by way of a highly controversial transfer—and moved to Manchester Utd the following season, where he won back-to-back league titles.
Tevez crossed the Manchester divide in 2009, where he won another league title.
Despite not making Argentina's 2014 World Cup squad, he was voted Juventus' player of the season in the last campaign.
Sergio Aguero isn't just one of the best Argentine strikers the league ever seen—he's one of the best from any nation.
Since arriving at Manchester City from Atletico Madrid, Aguero has proven himself as a deadly goalscorer.
In City's match against Liverpool on Monday, he needed only 23 seconds to get his name on the scoresheet and, of course, he is responsible for one of the most significant goals in Premier League history.
Aguero is also the owner of the best goals-to-minute ratio in Premier League history, finding the net on average every 113 minutes (as per the Daily Mail).
Fabricio Coloccini's untamed mane has been ever-present in the Newcastle back line since he moved to Tyneside from Deportivo La Coruna in August 2008.
The defender, once referred to as "Mr Reliable" by a former Newcastle manager, has consistently won praise for his performances over the past six seasons.
In the winter transfer window last year, Colo shocked his club by making a transfer request, but his former Argentinean side San Lorenzo could not afford his wages so he stayed. And the league is richer for him.
Javier Mascherano arrived at West Ham in 2006 as part of the same murky transfer deal that subsequently saw third party ownership ruled out in the Premier League.
Much to Sheffield Utd's chagrin, Mascherano helped keep West Ham in the Premier League before making a move to Liverpool, earning a Champions League runners-up medal in his debut season at Anfield.
The talented centre-back (and defensive midfielder) was so admired among Liverpool fans that when he finally made the move to Barcelona, he dedicated his subsequent Champions League win to them.
Pablo Zabaleta is one of few current Manchester City regular starters who have been at the club longer than Sheikh Mansour, having signed the day before the Abu Dhabi group took ownership.
In his five seasons at Eastlands, Zabaleta has emerged as something of a cult hero among Citizens fans thanks to his tenacity, loyalty and tendency to crop up with an important goal—such as the one he scored on the famous final day of the 2011-12 season.
Representing Argentine goalkeepers on this list is Julian Speroni, who has guarded the net in over 300 appearances for Crystal Palace since 2004.
The 35-year-old is a seriously underrated shot-stopper, who might just be the biggest reason the Eagles staved off relegation last season.
Marcos Rojo isn't the only promising left-sided defender to grace Manchester United.
After impressing at Paris Saint-Germain, Gabriel Heinze arrived at United in the summer of 2004. He immediately established himself as the Red Devils' starting left-back and won the affections of the Old Trafford faithful.
Heinze's success in Manchester was ultimately thwarted by injury, which led Sir Alex Ferguson to sign Patrice Evra as a replacement. Frustrated by a lack of first-team action, the Argentine star subsequently moved to Real Madrid.
Jonas Gutierrez moved to Newcastle prior to the 2008-09 season and put in a superb performance on his Premier League debut against Manchester United.
Despite his pivotal role in Argentina's national side while qualifying for the 2010 World Cup, the long-haired winger stuck with Newcastle when they were relegated and continued to earn plaudits on his top flight return.
Shortly after the aforementioned 2010 World Cup, his compatriot Lionel Messi described him as "one of the best players in the Premier League," comparing his status to Wayne Rooney, Fernando Torres and Cesc Fabregas.
Much like Aguero, Maxi Rodriguez made the move to the Premier League after making his mark at Atletico Madrid.
At 29 years old, the Argentine winger moved to Liverpool on a free transfer in 2010. In his first season he managed 10 goals, including two hat-tricks—the latter was a fine performance against Fulham that saw him score after 32 seconds and bag another from around 30 yards.
After two seasons at Anfield, Rodriguez moved back to his boyhood club Newell's Old Boys.
In September 2013, Manuel Pellegrini brought his former Malaga centre-back Martin Demichelis to Manchester City.
He was 32 years old, he got off to a shaky start in England and he had terrible hair, but Demichelis has managed to reveal the class that saw him win 11 titles with Bayern Munich over seven seasons.
Demichelis' error prone ways appear to be a thing of the past—along with his ponytail—and he is now something of a cult hero at City.