Angel di Maria has insisted he is happy at Manchester United despite a number of reports suggesting he is anything but.
The Argentine completed a British record transfer to join from Real Madrid last summer, costing Louis van Gaal a staggering £59.7 million. So far, Di Maria has failed to justify that price tag and is starting to draw loud criticism from some corners of Old Trafford.
Di Maria's poor form peaked against Sunderland at the weekend when Van Gaal substituted him for Adnan Januzaj, 20, who performed better as Manchester United scored two second-half goals to win 2-0.
It is a dramatic tumble from his form for Real Madrid last season and even his form in his first few games for the Red Devils. The 27-year-old scored three goals and assisted three more in his first four Premier League games, but has failed to score since.
"I've been happy ever since I arrived at Manchester United"
Despite his obvious struggles to adapt to life in the Premier League, the £280,000-a-week star has insisted that he has never been unhappy at Manchester United.
The Daily Star claim he told ESPN: "I've been happy ever since I arrived at Manchester United.
"Hopefully I can stay here for many years."
Van Gaal explained that Di Maria would need more time to rekindle his best form in the Premier League and seems happy to give him more time.
"We have to give Angel more time to adapt to the Premier League; it's not so easy with the high tempo," he told the club's official website. "I want to give him time, it's also not easy to change a player of his quality, but I have to make these decisions."
What is really going on?
Di Maria is not the first Real Madrid reject to struggle in the Premier League. Mesut Ozil has also failed to transfer his La Liga form after signing for Arsenal in 2013.
For these players, who played so well for Los Blancos only to be thrown out of the club, it it would have been a huge blow to their morale. Not only are they being shipped out for no other reason but to fund 'Galactico' signings, but they are also arriving at clubs where winning is a lot tougher than it is at the Bernabeu.
Real Madrid usually win games in second gear, but the Premier League is much more competitive. It will take time for Di Maria to adapt to the physical nature of English football and to the increased competition for points.
At the moment, he is not working hard enough. He must step on the pitch as if he is going into battle. It is something Ozil is slowly learning to do, all of 18 months after arriving. Di Maria may need a similar amount of time.
Is Angel di Maria going to make it in the Premier League or should Manchester United look to offload him as soon as possible? Give us your views in the comments box below!
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