Tuesday 25 October 2016

Reasons why Di Maria struggled

Published 06/08/2015 | 14:53

Angel Di Maria has completed his move to PSG
Angel Di Maria has completed his move to PSG

Less than a year after signing for Manchester United in a club-record £59.7million deal, Angel di Maria has left Old Trafford for Paris St Germain.

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Here, Press Association Sport looks at four possible reasons why Di Maria's time at United was so short.


It may seem an odd reason given that Di Maria played so little towards the end of the season, but it is easy to forget that in the 2013-14 campaign, the 27-year-old played 51 times for club and country. That total would have been 53 had he not torn a thigh muscle in Argentina's World Cup quarter-final win over Belgium. The fact that he played so often in the build up to his move could account for his lacklustre performances in a United shirt.


There was much speculation when Di Maria signed as to where Van Gaal would fit him into the team. The United manager started off playing him in central midfield, where he was so effective for Real Madrid the previous year. The Dutchman moved Di Maria out on to the left wing when he changed to a 4-3-3 system but also deployed the 27-year-old as a number 10 and a central striker. Having been moved around the pitch so much, Di Maria never really had the chance to establish himself in one position in the United side.


Van Gaal, a man who coached in Holland, Germany and Spain before coming to these shores, regularly reminds reporters here that the Premier League is the hardest league to adapt to in Europe due to the speed and physical nature of the English game. Di Maria is one of the best dribblers around and is also rapid, but it is true that he did have trouble dealing with the physicality of opponents due to his slight frame.


The most likely cause. In February, Di Maria and his family were at their Cheshire home when masked men attempted to burgle the property. The Argentinian, his wife and two children soon moved out and relocated to a city centre flat owned by former United defender Phil Neville. They continued to reside there until Di Maria left for the Copa America. Di Maria and his family were understandably shaken by the attempted burglary and it is easy to see why they wanted to leave the area.

Press Association

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