Football

Angel Di Maria's form is down to Manchester United, says Tata Martino

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Manchester United have been told that record signing Angel di Maria failing to find his best form is down to the fact that Louis van Gaal has not been able to get the best out of the squad so far in the Premier League.

That is according to Argentina manager Gerardo Martino, who believes that a such a slump for the team as a whole is having a negative effect on the man purchased this summer from Real Madrid in a deal worth close to £60million.

Martino was speaking ahead of a friendly between Argentina and Portugal, which takes place at Old Trafford on Tuesday evening and Di Maria is expect to start the match. However, his impact in their last match - a scrappy wing over Croatia at Upton Park - was minimal and he failed to really get into the game.

The former Barcelona manager believes that the slump in form being suffered by the 26-year-old is more typical of a player who has joined a new club, rather than the lively impact he made in his first few games playing under Van Gaal. Martino insisted it would normally take time to adapt to a new environment, but was confident Di Maria's best would be seen.

"His start [at United] was exceptional and the fact that generally when players go to a new club and have to get used to a new league, a new team, a different style of football and different team-mates," Martino is quoted as saying by the Daily Mirror.

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"I think the form that he is showing now is possibly more typical of a player going to a new club than the very first few games when he burst onto the scene and did so well."

Friendly Appeal

Manchester United fans in attendance will probably be hoping a good performance can boost his confidence, but the main attraction will be the return of former Old Trafford favourite Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ronaldo has played there once with Real Madrid since he joined the Spanish giants in 2009 for a then world record £80million, but watching Portugal play Argentina will give the a chance to really get behind him.

Obviously, the other big draw is the fact that Ronaldo will be lining up opposite his great rival for world football's individual gongs, Lionel Messi. The Barcelona superstar is never quite at his best when turning out for his national team, but fans will be hoping facing off against Ronaldo inspires a great performance.

Unexpected Hero

It will also be a return to Old Trafford for Nani, who has been a regular for Portugal throughout his difficult years at Manchester United. However, he is currently playing as well as he has down for years since being granted a loan move to Sporting Lisbon in his homeland.

So well has Nani been playing that there had even been suggestions Van Gaal would consider bringing him back from his loan spell early. United have had a difficult start to the season and could use all the help they can get, but the player himself has subsequently ruled out a possible switch.

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Topics:
Manchester United
Argentina Football
Premier League
Football

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