Argentina coach Gerardo Martino has blasted Manchester United’s struggling season as the reason behind Angel di Maria’s poor form, Express reports.
The winger was showing some impressive displays after his £59.7million move from Real Madrid but has been disappointing recently, even being criticized by United manager Louis van Gaal for holding on to the ball rather than going for an easy pass.
However Martino claims that Di Maria’s dipping form is due to the player adapting to a new football environment as well as an entirely different country.
“Angel is one of the very top players in world football and when you don’t understand the league in which he is playing in, it is hard to make an opinion,” Martino said.
“I think his start was exceptional but the fact is that when players go to a new club and have to get used to a new league, new club, team mates, different style, the form he is showing now is more typical of [a player] going to a new club than his start when he did so well.
“The general level of the team’s performance can also have something to do with an individual’s performance.”
The ex-Barcelona boss went on to add that Di Maria’s versatility in attack will eventually make him an extremely important player for United in the near future.
“Angel is a player who can play in a number of different roles equally expertly,” he added.
“You only have to look a few seasons back when he played on the right wing for Real Madrid while last season he featured more at inside left and in a slightly freer role.
“Then in the World Cup he did very well when he played wide left. So position-wise, he is the type who can adapt to whatever you ask him to play.”
Di Maria will be on international duty with a friendly against old team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo when Portugal meet Argentina at Old Trafford on Tuesday.