Thierry Henry explains why Manchester United sold Angel di Maria

Published 21 Comments

Thierry Henry believes Manchester United sold Angel di Maria to Paris Saint-Germain this week because the Argentina international wasn’t disciplined enough for Louis van Gaal.

Henry, the former Arsenal and Barcelona striker who now works as a pundit for Sky Sports, feels Van Gaal should have provided Di Maria with a free role after signing the former Real Madrid star for such a large transfer fee last summer.

United paid £59.7 million for Di Maria 12 months ago, but sold him for just £46 million this week following a disappointing campaign at Old Trafford.


Do you have what it takes? Sign up today and send over your 250 word test article:

Article continues below

“Louis van Gaal demands his teams to play a certain way,” the retired striker told talkSPORT. “It’s very demanding and well structured. If you’re a winger you have to stay wide, you can’t come in, you have to stay there.

“I know that exactly, because at Barcelona it was the same way, the Dutch way and the Barca way are very similar.

Article continues below

“From what I understand, that’s why it was difficult for Di Maria to adapt, because he’s a free spirit.

“You have to let him play and that’s how it was for him at Real Madrid; sometimes he played behind the striker, sometimes on the left or on the right, and sometimes he didn’t come back.

“You can’t do that at Manchester United, it’s too well structured.”

Henry had strict instructions under Guardiola

Indeed, Henry often talks about how Pep Guardiola would ask him to stay on the touchline during his spell with Barcelona.

The Frenchman claims Guardiola would sub him off if he strayed infield - and it seems Di Maria had similar strict instructions under Van Gaal last season.

Henry: Pedro is a better fit for United

But Henry believes Pedro, who flourished under Guardiola at the Camp Nou, will be a much better fit for both Manchester United and Van Gaal.

“At one point last season, they didn’t gel, so Van Gaal did something to make sure they were going to get results until the end of the season - they were more direct,” Henry added. “That’s why he went on to buy players this summer that can suit the way he wants to play - that’s why he wants Pedro.

“Pedro knows those tactics, he can do what Van Gaal wants. I’ve seen him at Barcelona, he was putting pressure on and staying out wide - he has it.”

Reports in Spain today suggest Manchester United could seal a deal for Pedro within the next few hours, but the Spanish World Cup winner will not arrive in time to feature against Tottenham on Saturday.

Manchester United fans: are you disappointed to see Angel di Maria leave Old Trafford? Let us know by leaving a comment in the box below!

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE:

Thierry Henry
Angel di Maria
Transfer News
Premier League
Manchester United

Article Comments

Report author of article

Please let us know if you believe this article is in violation of our editorial policy, please only report articles for one of the following reasons.

Report author


This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Want more content like this?

Like our GiveMeSport Facebook Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to Facebook, don't ask me again

Follow GiveMeSport on Twitter and you will get this directly to you.

Already Following, don't ask me again

Like our GiveMeSport Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to G+, don't ask me again