Angel Di Maria played in a new role in Real Madrid's last game, which could increase his chances of staying at the club.
As Real Madrid prepared for their game against Almeria, manager Carlo Ancelotti was presented with a problem.
No Cristiano Ronaldo meant the Italian was without one of his main attacking players, as he went into the game looking to maintain the formation which has been relatively successful for him this season.
His solution? Let Angel Di Maria play in Ronaldo’s position.
There’s been plenty of speculation that players could be leaving Real Madrid’s attack this summer with the likes of Karim Benzema and Alvaro Morata both linked with exits, which would create a greater need for Ancelotti to retain other key attacking players.
It’s been an up and down season for Di Maria, as he’s been forced to deal with a critical pro-Madrid press and set of Bernabeu home fans who have got on his back every time he’s produced an inconsistent or poor display.
However, his new role has been largely praised by Spanish newspaper Marca, which suggests the new role allowed the Argentine to play with a rare air of freedom.
“Di María was Real's most mobile performer and played with the most freedom. He was ever-present in all of Real's attacking play and ready to shoot whenever he had the chance. He had three shots on target in the first half alone, including the one that ended up in the back of the net,” reads a report on the Marca website.
In short, Di Maria is proving himself to be effective from different positions in the side and his importance will increase to a state beyond where it currently is, especially if key attacking players leave this summer.