Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal has revealed that it could take British record signing Angel di Maria another year before he becomes accustomed to life in the Premier League, according to reports from the Daily Star.
Di Maria was signed from Real Madrid for a massive £59.7million fee last summer, but has struggled for fitness and form since his arrival.
The Argentina international’s poor performance resulted in Van Gaal hooking Di Maria off at half-time during the weekend, which the Red Devils went on to win 2-0 courtesy of a Wayne Rooney brace.
And although many fans expected the 26-year-old to play a major part in the current campaign, the Dutch manager insists that it could be even longer before they see the Di Maria that helped Real win the Champions League last season.
He said: “I think it counts for all the players that we have bought, the first season is always difficult.
“You can see it for every player we have bought, [Luke] Shaw, [Daley] Blind, [Ander] Herrera, [Radamel] Falcao and also Di Maria.
“For me it is not a big surprise, it is more a big surprise when he adapted as quickly as possible.
“In the Netherlands, Spain and Germany I had the same experience with players. We have to give him time, not just Di Maria but all the players. We wait and see.
“You have to manage so many aspects. Not just the game, but the culture.
“The general answer is one year but you can’t give a general answer. It is easy to say that, I cannot prove that. It is not scientifically proven.”
Meanwhile, United midfielder Michael Carrick could still be unavailable for Wednesday’s clash against Newcastle United, despite sitting on the bench during their victory over the Black Cats.