Argentina boss Gerardo Martino has boosted Manchester United with the news that Angel Di Maria’s injury is not as bad as first feared, despite the fact he remains a doubt for the upcoming Arsenal clash.
The Red Devils’ summer signing picked up a nasty knock during a challenge from Nani when Argentina took on Portugal in a friendly at Old Trafford, and initially it was assumed that he would add to Louis van Gaal’s current injury crisis.
Martino allays fears
However his international manager has revealed that there might not be such cause for concern. Di Maria was sent for scans immediately after the match, and according to Sky Sports Martino doesn’t believe Van Gaal has much to sweat over.
"We don't think it is anything serious. It was quite a tough blow that he took," the former Barcelona boss said.
"It was a tough knock. It cut the skin a little bit. But we have had a look at it and we are evaluating the situation.
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"We are having a look at some X-rays, some images that have been taken but in spite of that we don't think it is too serious."
"We are having a look at some X-rays, some images that have been taken but in spite of that we don't think it is too serious"
Di Maria backing
The player himself also contributed positively to the speculation, confirming yesterday that he was hoping to play when United take on Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday. With Van Gaal missing as many as 12 players the former Premier League champions will struggle to field a side which is even close to full strength, but the return of Di Maria would certainly go some way to balancing the scales.
Having hit the ground running following his £59.7 million from Real Madrid this summer he’s become one of the most important players for Van Gaal, and though his recent form hasn’t been quite as impressive as he might have liked, there’s no doubts that he remains a game-changing player on his day.
Interestingly Nani, whose late challenge was the cause of the concern spoke after the international fixture about his desire to prove himself at United. The winger was loaned to Sporting Lisbon shortly after Van Gaal’s arrival and has subsequently impressed there.
However, question marks remain over his ability to consistently perform well in England’s top flight, and there’s a good deal of fans who would back the decision to sell him if the club pushed for it.
The 28-year-old was tipped for a bright future when he was purchased by Sir Alex Ferguson in 2007, but he failed to step out of Cristiano Ronaldo’s shadow after the latter’s departure in 2009, and hasn’t looked comfortable since.