United’s £59.7million substitute: Why van Gaal should put Angel Di Maria on the bench

Even when he is available again, Manchester United should put Angel Di Maria on the bench and stick with a winning formula.

Manchester United’s £59.7million signing Angel Di Maria has reportedly returned to training ahead of the club’s Premier League encounter with Aston Villa on Saturday.

The Argentine international is still rated at 50/50 to feature at the weekend as he builds up his match fitness following a hamstring injury, but manager Louis van Gaal should make a bold call that may not go down well with every supporter.

In Di Maria’s absence United won against Stoke City, Southampton and Liverpool while he came off just 14 minutes into their victory over Hull City last month.

In that time, United have added four more successes to the run that started against Crystal Palace and while some fans would suggest Di Maria should go straight back into the starting line-up there is an alternative viewpoint.

United may not be firing on all cylinders but they are winning, and having ground out a result against Southampton they played with more fluency a week later against Liverpool.

A title challenge is now a distinct possibility and van Gaal has already shown he will not pick players on reputation alone, as Radamel Falcao would testify.

For now United should stick with the men who have been winning for them, the likes of Juan Mata and Marouane Fellaini who have both shone in recent weeks.

Di Maria’s time will come again, but why change a winning formula; especially when it has taken them to within touching distance of Manchester City and surely prompted Chelsea to take notice?

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