When Real Madrid broke the world record transfer fee to sign Gareth Bale from Tottenham in September, Angel Di Maria should have packed his bags and left the Bernabeu there and then.
The Argentina international must have anticipated that his playing time would be severely reduced - even if he backed his own ability to succeed despite Bale's arrival.
And that's proved to be the case. Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale have hit it off straight away, leaving Di Maria in the shadows, reduced to cameo performances from the substitutes' bench.
The Argentina international deserves much better. He's still only 25 years old and good enough to walk into any team in the world outside of Spain.
Di Maria would have no shortage of potential suitors if he announced his desire to leave the Spanish capital. Indeed, Ligue 1 big-spenders AS Monaco are believed to be extremely keen to lure the winger to Stade Louis II.
But Di Maria should be playing in front of crowds of 70,000+ every week, rather than the 7,000 or so who turn up to watch Radamel Falcao and co. at Monaco.
Money is important, of course, but you can guarantee that he would be paid a handsome sum if Manchester United came calling.
The Red Devils need a marquee signing. A winger is not top of the agenda, but United need strengthening in multiple positions, including left-wing.
Di Maria is a class act who makes things happen when he plays. He's capable of extraordinary moments of individual class, which is why he's playing for the biggest club in world football.
Manchester United is hardly a huge step down, despite their poor start to the 2013/14 campaign, and Di Maria could be the man to spark an upturn in fortunes.
It's rare that a player of Di Maria's class becomes available - and Real Madrid will soon need to accept that having him around as a luxury sub is simply not an option, just as they did with Gonzalo Higuain in the summer.
This would be a signing that would excite the Old Trafford faithful and convince them that David Moyes is the right man to take the club forward.
Get him in, stick the No. 7 shirt on him, and watch him work his magic.
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