Retired defender Gabriel Heinze believes his former employers Manchester United have signed one of the world’s top four players in the form of Angel di Maria.
Di Maria, 26, has enjoyed a fine start to his Old Trafford career, scoring three goals in his first five appearances, and is already beginning to justify the huge £59.7 million fee that Manchester United paid for him in the closing days of the summer transfer window.
Heinze hails Di Maria
And Heinze, who played for the Red Devils between 2004 and 2007, is convinced that his compatriot is right up there amongst the world’s very best players.
“Anything I say about Angel Di Maria is not enough. For me, he’s one of the four best players in the world,” Heinze is quoted as telling reporters by Goal.com. “He’s already reached an amazing level and arrived at an amazing club where they will look after him and he’ll perform really well for them.
“I think everyone needs time to adapt, especially in the English league.
“You need to adapt but the club can help you and Manchester United will make things easier for you.”
Di Maria breaks British transfer record
Di Maria became the most expensive player in British football history when he put pen-to-paper on his five-year contract on August 26, smashing the previous record set in 2011, when Chelsea paid Liverpool £50 million for Fernando Torres.
Real Madrid have attracted criticism for allowing such a talented player to leave the Bernabeu - particularly as last season was arguably his best campaign since arriving at the club from Benfica in 2010 - but club president, Florentino Perez, made the decision to offload the South American star following the expensive acquisition of James Rodriguez.
Di Maria: United's new superstar
The reigning European champions’ loss has undoubtedly been United’s gain. Di Maria, playing from the left-hand side of central midfield, has been a revelation at Old Trafford over the past few weeks.
Handed the iconic No. 7 shirt on arrival, Di Maria is perhaps Manchester United’s most exciting attacking player since Cristiano Ronaldo.
Is Di Maria one of world's best?
But how accurate is Heinze when he says that Di Maria is one of world football’s top four players?
Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are the undisputed best in the world - and have been for the best part of six years now - and then a host of world-class players could put forward a perfectly reasonable argument for being No. 3 in the list, including Di Maria.
Others include Ronaldo’s Real Madrid teammate Gareth Bale, Neymar of Barcelona, his teammate Luis Suarez and Paris Saint-Germain’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Is Chelsea’s Eden Hazard also in with a shout? Have your say in the comments’ section below…