Rio Ferdinand believes Angel di Maria will come good at Manchester United, but will need up to a year to adapt to the rigours of the Premier League.
Di Maria's long-term future at Manchester United is in doubt after he failed to impress against Arsenal in their FA Cup quarter-final on Monday. The Argentine was sent off top cap what has been a disastrous start to life at Old Trafford.
He is a long way from justifying the £59.7 million United paid to sign him from Real Madrid and some sources believes Louis van Gaal is considering cashing in. While speculation continues, Ferdinand believes he has all the attributes required to succeed in English football.
"Not every player can be like Ronaldo and just turn up and instantly become a superstar"
"I thought Di Maria was a great signing for United and I still think he was a good signing because he is a top player," Ferdinand told Goal.
"He was arguably Madrid’s best player last year, him and Ronaldo were their standout players. I think he is a highly talented player.
"But it always takes time for a player to adapt to his new surroundings, especially when you go to a foreign league. Not every player can be like Ronaldo and just turn up and instantly become a superstar. Maybe it will take Di Maria a bit longer. It might take him a year, you never know.
"But his style does suit the Premier League. He is quick, runs at people, hungry to create chances and commit people. I think he is a very talented player and I like him."
Di Maria started like a house on fire after completing his move to Old Trafford. His first four Premier League games saw him return three goals and three assists, but he has failed to score in the league since.
His struggles increased when his home was attacked by armed raiders. The unsuccessful attempt to break in left his wife and child unable to return to the £4m property, which has since been put up for sale. Gary Neville suggested earlier this week the incident is bound to have affected his concentration on the pitch.
Too early to call
Calls for Di Maria to be sold are, of course, premature. The difference between playing for Real Madrid in La Liga and playing for Manchester United in the Premier League is stark. The competition is stronger, your teammates aren't as capable and time on the ball comes at a premium.
Di Maria will need more time to adapt, but right now it seems his morale couldn't get much lower. He could benefit from an extended break from the team. However, with the big games coming thick and fast, Van Gaal can't afford to leave his best players out.
Should Di Maria be given some time off to get his life in order or should he stop moaning and get on with his job? Give us your thoughts in the comments box below!
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