Blimey. How disappointing was Angel Di Maria?
Manchester United fans haven’t had it easy in recent years. Not that we feel particularly sympathetic towards them, they’ve dominated the league for years now – it’s only fair that they give someone else a chance. But at the same time, it does feel a little sad watching a former great slowly wilt and die. Angel Di Maria was one of these problems.
The Red Devils smashed the British transfer record to sign the Argentina international, who made his exit from the Bernabeu after Madrid purchased World Cup icon James Rodriguez, spending a mammoth £59.7million for his services.
Louis van Gaal gushed over the player who he described as “world-class midfielder” and, most importantly, a “team player”.
“There is no doubting his immense natural talent,” continued the Dutchman.
“He is a tremendously fast and incisive left-footed player who puts fear into the most accomplished defence. His dribbling skills and his ability to take on and beat opponents are a joy to watch. He is an excellent addition to the team.”
So let us take a moment to analyse that summary. Firstly, him being a “team player”. Indeed, where we cannot deny that Angel Di Maria was a creative wizard, contributing just under 0.41 Premier League assists and an average of 2.85 chances per 90 minutes, he wasn’t exactly a favourite around the dressing room.
As Independent’s Miguel Delaney has revealed, there was reportedly an “explosive day in the dressing room” that resulted in many United players to “finally” lose their rag with the winger. Miguel added: “after another disappointingly anonymous display, Wayne Rooney offered some robust criticism to Di Maria’s face. A proper argument erupted. Strong words were used.”
Well, that just about does it for us. You can be as good as you want, but if you do not have the backing of your teammates then you may as well kiss goodbye to your career at that club.
Next up: his ability.
Yes, Di Maria was a truly world-class player, but he rarely showed it.
He danced his way around the pitch in typical style for someone fresh from La Liga, but after a few challenges from the Premier League bruisers, he soon lost his appetite for the special.
He finished the season with a pathetic four goals in 32 appearances and barely made it back into the team after getting sent-off against Arsenal at Old Trafford in March 2015 after pulling the shirt of Michael Oliver, a man of questionable ability and consistency.
He left to join Paris Saint-Germain in August 2015.
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