After being heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford all summer, Angel di Maria is finally a Manchester United player.
United fans are already boasting that they’ve signed one of the world’s best players, and they aren’t wrong.
Di Maria had 17 assists in La Liga last season, more than any other player in Europe’s top leagues. He can score, create, and dribble past opponents with ease… but at £59.7million, is he worth it?
Will Di Maria be similar to Mesut Ozil for Arsenal? The Gunners paid £42million for the German’s services and although acknowledged as a great player, has he really lived up to the hype?
With that in mind, here are SIX REASONS Angel di Maria is a waste of money.
All the talk during Manchester United’s pre-season was the Dutch manager’s intent on playing the successful 3-5-2 system that resulted in the Netherlands making it to the World Cup semi-finals.
And although United’s first two league games didn’t go as planned, it is very likely Van Gaal will stick with the formation for the time being.
This brings into question how the coaching staff will utilize Angel di Maria, who (as a winger) is too attack minded of a player to play wing-back. At Real Madrid he was deployed as a central midfielder to great effect, but Real had the composure and tenacity of Xabi Alonso and Luka Modric behind him.
If he does play in the middle with two other central midfielders supporting him, then there will be a problem for…
Juan Mata was United’s record signing just seven months ago, but may now be facing competition from one of the world’s best attacking players in Di Maria.
If Van Gaal is looking to stick with two strikers, then it would be impossible to accommodate Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie, Juan Mata, and Angel di Maria in the same front line. Unless Di Maria plays wing-back (decreasing his effectiveness), the player most likely to be dropped is the £37.1million Spaniard.
And rationally speaking if Mata is the one cut, then the Red Devils may not be wasting Di Maria’s £59.7million fee, but the former Chelsea star’s £37.1million instead.
It has been reported recently that Louis van Gaal could change his formation to accommodate his new signing.
The best other option is to go with a 4-2-3-1, with Di Maria on one of the flanks and Mata sitting ‘in the hole’ behind a striker. But who will that striker be?
With Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie, Van Gaal has at his disposal two world class strikers that are too talented to be on the bench.
One of them will have to make way to full make use of Di Maria’s abilities, or the United boss can revert to a solution both David Moyes and Alex Ferguson used in the past without much success…
Wayne Rooney is undoubtedly one of the most gifted and passionate footballers on the planet.
He is willing to play anywhere for his team, but his performances and statistics show that the England captain is most effective when deployed as a striker.
Not only does he produce more, but it is quite easily recognizable when Rooney is unsatisfied playing further down the pitch.
The team-sheet would be one of the scariest on paper, but without a strong spine to support this attacking line-up it will just end in further disappointment for United fans.
What is going on in the Manchester United boardroom is bewildering.
They’ve known since February that club captain and defensive stalwart Nemanja Vidic was heading to Inter Milan, and that they would not be renewing long-serving veteran Rio Ferdinand.
They also realized that Marouane Fellaini wasn’t the answer to their struggling midfield, as well as having a whole season to see that Tom Cleverley and Anderson were way below par for United’s standards.
While they did fill the vacancy left by Patrice Evra with Luke Shaw and partly fixed their midfield deficiency with Ander Herrera, they have not managed to purchase a world class defender and an all action defensive midfielder.
Basically there are so many options better than signing a winger/attacking midfielder, which happen to be cheaper on the market.
Angel di Maria for £59.7million tore the British transfer record, held by (you’ve guessed it) Fernando Torres for £50million.
Manchester United have quite frankly overspent on players all summer. Luke Shaw was a £30million buy from Southampton… £30million! Chelsea paid only £2million more for Diego Costa, who has already scored two goals in two games… while Luke Shaw is struggling with fitness at his new club.
Even with less than £30million, Bayern Munich bought one of the best defenders in the world in Mehdi Benatia (also targeted by Man United) from Roma… for £24million.
Players that would be perfect for United are moving all over Europe at lower costs, but instead they spend a massive sum on a player they do not need.
Di Maria would definitely make them a better team, but unless Van Gaal can integrate him effectively, it won’t be enough to even challenge for fourth.