Football

Angel di Maria would shine in the Premier League

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Angel di Maria is one star name that football fanatics across the globe may have already become slightly tired of hearing over recent weeks.

In addition to providing a series of mixed performances during the early stages of Argentina's run to the World Cup final on enemy territory in Brazil, the 26-year-old - who was sadly denied a role in both the semi-final and final after sustaining a thigh injury in the cagey victory over Belgium - was praised to the proverbial hilt earlier this summer after his stunning display in Real Madrid's Champions League final demolition of cross-city rivals Atletico.

As if that wasn't quite enough exposure for the former Benfica star, Di Maria - who made the switch to the world-famous Santiago Bernabeu back in 2010 - has also been the focus of a steady but seemingly never-ending stream of transfer rumours that continue to suggest he may well depart La Liga in the coming months.

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Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain have been frequently referred to as arguably the frontrunners for his signature, although Manchester United have been just as strongly linked with a potential swoop.

Focusing on the latter speculation for a moment, as is always inevitably the case when a player with no prior experience of football in the country is mentioned in conjunction with a move to England, questions have arisen in some quarters as to whether Di Maria - despite his stellar track record - would be able to adapt sufficiently to the pace of the Premier League.

A definitive answer to this particular query came from a slightly surprising source only today. In an interview with Goal that emerged on Saturday, new Manchester City signing Willy Caballero thoroughly endorsed Di Maria's credentials and was seemingly left in no doubt whatsoever as to his compatriot's ability to thrive amid new surroundings.

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Endorsement

"[Di Maria's] way of playing and his pace would make him a success," the former Malaga and Boca Juniors shot-stopper said.

"He'd shine. I think some people doubted him when he moved to Spain but he has been excellent. He shut the mouths of many journalists in Spain who doubted his talents. I think he would shine in any league."

I thoroughly agree with this sentiment. Personally, I have always found those who argue that - to use a particularly cringeworthy but undeniably popular recent example - the likes of Lionel Messi would struggle on a 'wet and windy Monday night at Stoke', to be utterly and completely deluded.

That is not to say there are not players who come from abroad and abjectly fail to acclimatise to the style of play, however. We have seen countless examples of this over the years, but the truth of the matter is that real class always shines through.

Watch: The latest Manchester United transfer news

Simply, Di Maria is too good to fail in the Premier League. While, like many others before him, he would perhaps initially require a settling-in period during which he may not be at his very best, his skill, ability and versatility would surely see him become a major success on these shores.

Despite Manchester United having appeared to lose ground in the race to sign the Argentine of late, if there is any chance whatsoever remaining that the club - now spearheaded of course by the imposing and reputable figure of Louis van Gaal - could still engineer a move for Di Maria, then they must not hesitate.

The price for such a talent - believed to be valued at approximately £38 million at the time of writing - in today's ridiculously and dangerously inflated transfer market would be very high indeed. However, I simply see no real element of risk attached in this instance.

True, Manchester United have other slightly more pressing priorities to attend to with regards to the makeup of their current squad.

A battling, all-round midfielder - Arturo Vidal, anyone? - is certainly required, while the respective departures of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand have left Van Gaal with preciously little to work with in a defensive capacity.

These are perhaps positions that should be focused upon first. However, if the possibility of signing Di Maria arises once again, then it would be foolish on Van Gaal's part not to do so. 

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Topics:
Manchester United
Manchester City
Real Madrid
La Liga
Premier League
Football

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