When the Red Devils saw fit to splash out a record breaking £59million on Argentina’s Angel Di Maria last summer, whilst obviously bringing with it it’s fair share of excitement and a general sense of sensation, many within the wider footballing community simply questioned the logistics of such a deal, and whether or not the move would ultimately end in success for Manchester United.
The former Bernabeu favourite arrived in the Premier League as one of the most notorious names in world football at the time, for the prior 2013/14 campaign with Real Madrid had truly been a memorable one for the quick-footed winger.
Louis van Gaal seemingly must have believed that he’d just signed a world beater at Old Trafford – and few at the time could really discredit United fans for following a similar train of thought.
However, after a pretty forgetful debut season in England, and increasingly growing reports that the Argentinean international is close to securing a move to Ligue 1 giants, PSG, this summer, it seems that this particular deal hasn’t exactly paid off for the Red Devils with all things considered.
Having made such a point though – should Louis van Gaal currently be fighting tooth and nail to secure a dramatic last minute U-turn in the player’s seemingly inevitable departure, or will Manchester United ultimately be better off without Angel Di Maria on board in the long run?
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Well, if his form last season is to have any kind of meaningful influence on such a discussion, perhaps the Old Trafford faithful shouldn’t be feeling too aggrieved over the likely nature of Di Maria’s impending exit from the club.
Yes, the skilful South American successfully recorded the second highest assists tally from open play in 2014/15 – just one place behind Chelsea’s formidable Cesc Fabregas – yet in only amounting a grand total of four goals in all competitions, and just generally turning out one too many lack-lustre performances in a Manchester United shirt, Angel Di Maria still must go down as a categorical disappointment for his output last season.
For one reason or another, the seemingly perfect solution at Old Trafford last term just didn’t quite work out as well as the club had initially expected. Sometimes dramatic moves such as the one in question simply fail to take off thanks to the magnitude of money involved in the deal. Angel Di Maria is a great player, and no doubt still is – but was he ever really worth £59 million in the cold light of day? The answer could well be, no.
The Argentinean’s new house in England admittedly faced an attempted break-in just as the Old Trafford faithful were beginning to see glimpses of class from their new signing in 2014/15, which could have had a major psychological impact on the player of course. As external supporters with little to no influence on the day-to-day goings on behind the scenes at Premier League football clubs, sometimes it remains difficult to remember that not every player can live up to their often inflated expectations.
However, now that Angel Di Maria is seemingly on course to joining PSG in the not too distant future, Manchester United may as well forget all about the on-going saga, and finally move on with a set of new found stars at the helm instead. Obviously such a tactic is nonetheless a pretty unsustainable one when you really think about it – especially from a financial point of view – but as the player remains increasingly unlikely to settle in the Premier League any time soon, some sacrifices will eventually have to be made.
With Barcelona’s Pedro looking like a probable replacement for the £59 million man at Old Trafford next season, Louis van Gaal will arguably have another world class talent on his hands in the little Spaniard, but one who will cost Manchester United a great deal less than Angel Di Maria ever could have. For a fee of around £22 million in today’s current market, Pedro could well represent somewhat of a steal for the Red Devils with all things considered.
The club will simply have to make do with the financial loss they will likely receive on Angel Di Maria should the 27-year-old eventually complete his move to PSG this summer as expected however. Nevertheless though, the money made back on their soon to be former no. 7 could potentially go some way in replacing Robin van Persie at Old Trafford next season, as well as improving Louis van Gaal’s increasingly shaky back-line.
Therefore, whilst no team wants to lose any potentially world class talent in this day and age, Manchester United will ultimately be better served throughout 2015/16 without Angel Di Maria on board.