Martin Keown believes that Angel Di Maria’s arrival at Manchester United will see Juan Mata dropped.
The Argentine midfielder was signed from Real Madrid for £60 million in midweek and his arrival has already created some much needed optimism around Old Trafford, after a poor start to the season.
However, Keown believes that Di Maria’s arrival will not be good news for Mata or Adnan Januzaj, who will be forced out of United’s first-team plans as a result.
“You can’t break the British transfer record and then not play Angel Di Maria, so Van Gaal will have to disappoint others,” the former Arsenal star, who is now a pundit wrote in the Daily Mail. “He won’t drop Wayne Rooney or Robin van Persie so that means Juan Mata and Adnan Januzaj are left out.”
Keown expects that United’s newest recruit will be the club’s first choice in the attacking midfield spot that Mata has been deployed in over the course of the season so far.
Van Gaal has been utilising a 3-4-1-2 system designed to get the best out of the Spaniard, but he has still not hit top form for United yet.
That is largely not his own fault. Since arriving at Old Trafford in January, the Red Devil’s performances have got progressively worse and Mata is yet to play in a settled side.
However, after a £50 million outlay, more has been expected from a player who has already proven his class in the Premier League, after his displays for Chelsea previously.
He knows that he will need to step up, but Keown seems to suggest that he is unlikely to have a chance now that Di Maria has been acquired.
The BBC pundit’s also claims that Januzaj could be in line for a spell in a backseat role and that will disappoint United supporters.
The Belgian’s emergence has been one of the positives to come out of what has been a tough time for the club and his development may be halted by not receiving regular football.
Januzaj has established himself as one of the finest young prospects in European football, but he will need to be exposed to the first-team if he is to progress and fulfill his potential.