Manchester United flop retains place in national side

Angel Di Maria Argentina

Angel Di Maria has been named in Argentina’s squad for a series of upcoming friendlies, despite underwhelming in the Premier League this season.

He may be public enemy number one at Old Trafford, after his sending off all but handed the game to Arsenal in the FA Cup this week, but Angel Di Maria is still in demand when it comes to the Argentina national team.

The 27-year-old has come in for severe criticism in recent weeks, following a series of displays that have seen the attacker fail to justify the club-record £59.7 million spent by Manchester United on the former Real Madrid winger in the summer.

Ineffective in a recent Premier League clash with Newcastle United, Di Maria completed just over two-thirds of his passes in the St James’ Park fixture and things went from bad to worse for the South American this week.

Already booked by referee Michael Oliver for simulation in United's home quarter final against Arsenal in the FA Cup, the World Cup finalist compounded matters by then appearing to grab at the match official.

A second yellow card and early bath duly followed but, while Di Maria may not be the most popular player among Manchester United fans, he remains very much a part of Gerardo Martino’s plans for the national side.

The forward was named as part of a party of Argentina players due to face El Salvador and Ecuador in a series of upcoming friendlies.

Di Maria is joined by Red Devils teammate Marcos Rojo, while Manchester City duo Sergio Aguero and Pablo Zabaleta have also been called-up.

United fans will now be hoping the Argentine can use the games to help rebuild the confidence he has seemingly been lacking in recent weeks with the Premier League giants.

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