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Macheda backs Di Maria to shine at United as Van Gaal backs Januzaj

Former Manchester United forward Federico Macheda believes Angel di Maria is "one of the best signings" his old club could make.

Argentina winger Di Maria appears to be on the verge of completing a British record transfer from Real Madrid in time to make his Premier League debut at Burnley on Saturday.

And Italian striker Macheda, forever etched into Old Trafford folklore after the last-minute winner against Aston Villa which played a key part in United's 2008-09 title triumph, believes Di Maria's arrival would give the club a huge lift after an inauspicious start to the season under new manager Louis van Gaal.

"I think he's one of the best signings they could make," said Macheda, now 23 and at Cardiff City. "At Man United a player like Di Maria will lift the players and the club as well. If they can get him it will be great for the club.

"He has played already for a big club in Real Madrid so he will be fine with the pressure on him.

"He's been to Portugal and Spain so that will help him coming to England."

United boss Louis van Gaal has defended his decision to use Adnan Januzaj as a holding midfielder in Sunday's 1-1 draw at Sunderland, insisting he saw it as the best thing to do at the time to boost their chances of victory.

After Jack Rodwell's header for the hosts had cancelled out Juan Mata's opener in the first half of the Barclays Premier League contest, Januzaj was brought on in the 63rd minute as a replacement for Darren Fletcher, simultaneous to Danny Welbeck coming on for Robin van Persie up front.

Van Gaal opted to put the teenage Belgium winger in the unfamiliar position despite also having the more natural-looking option of Shinji Kagawa at his disposal on the bench.

And the manager - who was without the likes of injured midfielders Michael Carrick, Marouane Fellaini, Ander Herrera and Anderson - told reporters: "It is not usual that we have four injuries in midfield. Every club that has that, has a problem.

"That is why I played Januzaj in midfield, (and) because as a coach I want to win. I have said that we need creative passing and I thought Januzaj could provide that. That is the reason."

United's next match is tonight's Capital One Cup tie at MK Dons, and Herrera (ankle) will have his condition assessed ahead of the match.

Whether the Spaniard makes it or not, it certainly seems Van Gaal will not be experimenting by giving Kagawa a go in the holding midfield slot in the game after the damning assessment he made of the Japan international's previous effort.

The Dutchman said: "Kagawa, I have tried to play him in that position in the United States (in pre-season) and he could not fulfil my wishes and my philosophy. We have spoken about that and he is more of a 10. Juan Mata was playing at 10 and I thought I had to change the other players, which is why I chose to bring on Januzaj.

"It is because of creation. Kagawa can also create, but I asked Adnan to play there because of the lack of midfielders.

"He has played there and you could see it's not so many times that he's played there.

"But he did his utmost and I cannot demand more," Van Gaal added.