When Manchester United secured the signing of Angel Di Maria last summer for £60 million, it appeared that the Red Devils were back on their way to the Champions League following an extremely disappointing (to put it mildly) 2013/14 campaign. After all, Di Maria is a world-class midfielder and was the exact type of player in which Manchester United needed at the time.
Coming off of a season wherein United finished seventh in the table and were shut out nine times during league play alone, newly-appointed manager Louis van Gaal brought in the Argentina international to help create more chances up front for his club. At the time of his transfer to Manchester, Di Maria seemed thrilled. “I am absolutely delighted to be joining Manchester United,” said the player in August of 2014. “Louis van Gaal is a fantastic coach with a proven track record of success and I am impressed by the vision and determination everyone has to get this club back to the top – where it belongs. I now just cannot wait to get started.”
Nevertheless, fast forward one year and Di Maria has swapped Manchester for Paris after agreeing to join Paris Saint-Germain in a£44 million move earlier in the month. All in all, United essentially spent around £26 million (includes transfer fees and player salary) to have the Argentine winger on their roster for one season. While Di Maria’s one season in England wasn’t all bad, he did have the third most assists in league play, he only made one Premier League start after February and rumors began to swirl about a possible rift between the player and manager.
On Monday, Di Maria finally spoke about his rocky relationship with his former manager. “Van Gaal has his philosophy and one of the things that made me want to leave is that,” Di Maria told ESPN Radio Argentina. “It is difficult to adapt to Van Gaal. I had a couple of rows with him. I started well and after that I got injured, things didn’t go well for me and Van Gaal changed my position.
Di Maria hasn’t been the only former United player to come out and criticize van Gaal as of late. Robin van Persie, now with Turkish side Fenerbahce, claimed that he wasn’t given an honest chance to win his starting place back.
In Di Maria’s case, Manchester United’s loss is Paris Saint-Germain’s gain. The winger finally made his debut for the Parisians on Sunday and he immediately made an impact on the club. Despite only being on the field for the final 24 minutes of the match against Monaco, Di Maria recorded an assist and also created two chances for his teammates. In the correct system, the 27-year-old midfielder can be devastating in attack and without a doubt be a world-class player.
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