Football

Angel Di Maria can still be world-class, just not at Manchester United

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Angel Di Maria will have had no problem adhering to Louis van Gaal's double training sessions and his emphasis on fitness at Manchester United.

The Argentina international has proven time and again his ability to marry his swathes of natural ability with a fierce work ethic of his own, most notably when helping Real Madrid to 'La Decima' in his last appearance for the club.

Big influence

Man of the match in that outing, it seemed inconceivable that Real would countenance his sale, but we are talking about Los Blancos, after all. Having set their heart and wallet on James Rodriguez there had to be a fall guy, and Di Maria has been falling ever since. 

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Cristiano Ronaldo, United's one time spearhead and the fans' long lost love, was slow to accept the departure of someone who had helped him to so many of his goals, whilst chipping in with a few of his own.

Bitter departure

That was, though, the Di Maria of Real. There is also the Di Maria who excels in the blue and white of Argentina. The season-long conundrum Van Gaal faced though, was the Di Maria of Manchester United.

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The murmurs that Van Gaal would be content to keep him as part of his squad are surely down to the Dutchman's desire to save face after splashing a record fee on the mercurial winger, and not his performances.

It is one thing excelling in the company of Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, Luka Modric, Gonzalo Higuain, Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero, but quite another when alongside an out-of-position Juan Mata, Ashley Young, and a soft centre of Ander Herrera and Daley Blind. Especially if asked to do so on a wet weekday at West Brom.

Di Maria to save himself?

Paris Saint Germain's initial derisory offer isn't so much a suggestion that Di Maria is half the player he was when United signed him, but more of an acknowledgement that the Red Devils paid well over the odds for a player who has a poor short passing game and was destined for culture shock.

The Argentinian may find sanctuary at the Parc de Princes, playing in the shadow of the omnipotent Zlatan Ibrahimovic, with a smaller price tag and in a league with less quality and, more importantly, less physicality. 

Make no mistake about it, Angel still has wings. He just needs to find his heaven. It was never likely to be Manchester. 

United fans, do you agree? Is Di Maria good enough to be the star man at PSG? Let us know in the comments box below.

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Topics:
Manchester United
Premier League
Angel di Maria
Football

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