The Argentine superstar has struggled to settle in England since his big money (£60 Million approx) mega move and has recently faced spells on the bench for Louis Van Gaal’s side. Is he just finding his feet or is the player destined to become a flop?
On signing from Real Madrid in August, having starred in Los Blancos’ Copa Del Rey and Champions League triumphs last season, the excitement from Manchester United fans was palpable. Many believed that Di Maria would be at the heart of a revival for the struggling Red Devils under new manager Van Gaal. He started well enough, scoring and winning man of the match on his debut vs QPR, before scoring a wonderful chipped goal in United’s devastating 5-3 loss at the hands of Leicester City. Although after a bright start, the former Benfica winger began to fade. Anonymous back-to-back performances against Chelsea and Manchester City lead to a slump in form. It appeared that the wave of exuberance Di Maria had joined upon had now worn thin, drawing contrasts to Mesut Ozil at Arsenal.
Although he has also experienced struggles off the pitch. The player’s wife refused to return to their lavish home in the North-West of England after thugs tried to break into the house with poles. An understandably traumatic experience for anyone. Also becoming accustomed to British life may be proving to be a struggle with him, as it has been with many Latino players in the past. Nobody to speak Spanish, bad weather, dark days, different food and culture in general. One can imagine that Madrid would have felt a lot more like home to Di Maria.
Injury problems have further halted his progress in the latter stages of 2014, but he has been back fit for quite a while now and just hasn’t delivered. At times, it has seemed as if can’t do anything right, struggling to even make simple passes on bad days. He seems devoid of confidence and trying too hard. He can’t even complain that a lack of winter break for the first time in his European career has affected him, as his lay off with fitness problems acted as an apt enough spell without football at the back end of last year.
What’s more he has been forced to spend spells on the bench due to his unacceptable performance levels in recent times. This must be humiliating for a player of his value, but Van Gaal has been left with simply no other option. Newspapers have even reported of United cutting their losses this upcoming summer, possibly letting the player leave after one unsuccessful season.
Although it is my opinion that he should stay and I fully expect him to, after the club made such a large investment to lure his presence to Old Trafford. There have been well documented reasons brought up in my article so far, as to why it has perhaps been so difficult for the winger to settle and you feel that once he becomes comfortable in this country, his performance levels will rise. Many foreign players have struggled to adapt to the hustle and bustle of the Premier League at first, Di Maria just needs time. He is undoubtedly a very good player and we will hopefully start seeing that next season. United fans do love a player that runs at defenders after all and at his best, he provides this. My advice would be to try and have a fresh start mentally at the club, stop over thinking things and do the basics right firstly. Also maybe start hitting the weights if you are reading this Angel!