Monday 22 January 2018

John Giles: Xabi Alonso is who Man United need, not Angel Di Maria

Xabi Alonso is leaving Real Madrid and John Giles believes he would be an ideal signing for Manchester United
Xabi Alonso is leaving Real Madrid and John Giles believes he would be an ideal signing for Manchester United
Declan Whooley

Declan Whooley

John Giles believes that Angel Di Maria is not the type of player Manchester United need and that Xabi Alonso would make more of an impact in the struggling team.

The £59.7m British-record signing was unveiled at Old Trafford today with manager Louis van Gaal insisting not to expect miracles overnight following the Red Devils sluggish start to the season.

While Giles has no doubt that the former Real Madrid star has star quality and was the "outstanding" player in last season's Champions League Final, he will not address the biggest problems on the playing pitch.

"United could do with a Fabregas, or even a couple of central defenders," he told Newstalk's Off The Ball tonight.

"Di Maria is not a central midfield player to dictate play, to bring the likes of Mata, Rooney and van Persie into the game."

Read more: Van Gaal: Don't expect immediate miracles from Di Maria 

Giles says that while new signing Herrera "looks busy", it is too early to judge whether he can solve their midfield woes. He is adamant however that former Liverpool star Alonso would make a vital contribution in the middle of the field and at a fraction of the cost of Di Maria.

The World Cup winner and European champion is in Munich to undergo a medial with Bayern and an £8m move from Real Madrid is expected to be rubber-stamped tomorrow.

The 32 year-old former Liverpool star announced his international retirement yesterday, but Giles believes that the classy midfielder would be exactly the type of player Van Gaal requires at Old Trafford and has a lot to offer for another couple of seasons.

"He (Alonso) hasn't gone old overnight. I think Alonso is still a very, very good player. I know he didn't play in the Champions League Final last season, but he played well up to it."

"He's the type of player they (United) need in that position," he added.

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