Can Di Maria be van Gaal's Robben at Manchester United?

Arjen Robben playing for Netherlands

Is Angel Di Maria set to have the same effect Arjen Robben did when arriving from Real Madrid at Bayern Munich in 2009.

Louis van Gaal has had a busy summer. Before taking over from David Moyes at Manchester United he led his nation to a third placed finish at the World Cup this summer. Since then he has been splashing the cash at Old Trafford - with the likes of Luke Shaw, Ander Herrera, Marcos Rojo, Daley Blind, Radamel Falcao and of course, new club record signing, Angel Di Maria all arriving at Manchester United.

So could his record buy emulate a player pivotal to his Dutch World Cup side?

Van Gaal has had plenty of success working with Dutch attacker Arjen Robben, coincidentally, also from Real Madrid where he was deemed surplus to requirements. He signed him whilst manager of Bayern Munich, spending £25 million on his signature.

Robben went on to play an integral role for the club, scoring a memorable goal against Manchester United in the quarter-finals of the Champions League in 2010.

He turned Robben into a devastating right-winger, cutting into his left-foot seemingly at will to leave defenders dumbfounded.

This summer he used Robben differently. He played centrally, using his pace and guile to good effect through the heart of the pitch. Just ask the Spanish players who felt the full brunt of his positional dexterity.

The question then is this, can Di Maria be his man for both of these roles?

We saw him use Di Maria centrally in a 3-5-2 against Burnley on debut but LvG's go-to back-up to this system is likely to be a 4-3-3 - which would suit Di Maria, as it did Robben at Bayern, attacking from the right considering his pace, dribbling ability and technique.

When van Gaal took over at Bayern he identified Robben as the man who needed to come to the club in order to turn things around. At United Di Maria might just be that man.

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