Former Newcastle United striker Faustino Asprilla has taken to Twitter to criticise Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal’s handling of South American pair Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao following the club’s 2-1 FA Cup quarter-final defeat to Arsenal.
Di Maria, 27, has struggled to live up to his British record £59.7 million price tag since arriving at United from Real Madrid in August, and compounded a difficult few weeks with a 77th-minute red card against the Gunners for tugging at referee Michael Oliver’s shirt.
Falcao, meanwhile, watched proceedings from the bench for the second consecutive match, having failed to rediscover the form which saw him labelled one of Europe’s deadliest strikers prior to arriving at Old Trafford.
Joining on a season-long loan from Monaco, the Colombian striker has since recorded just six goals in 26 total appearances and, while United have the option to make his spell permanent in the summer for a reported £42.5 million fee, a long-term switch now looks doubtful.
Having missed the second-half of last season and the World Cup with a torn anterior cruciate ligament, some have suggested that Falcao’s struggles are down to on-going fitness issues, but it’s clear what Asprilla believes is to blame for both his and Argentine teammate Di Maria’s poor form.
Writing on his official account, with an accompanied picture of Van Gaal, the outgoing ex-pro declared: “There are coaches that do lot of damage to latinamerican players in @premierleague like this one...”
This isn’t in fact the first time that Asprilla has launched an attack on Van Gaal over his treatment of Falcao and South Americans in general, having pointed out before that the Dutchman fell out with both Rivaldo and Juan Roman Riquelme during his time at Barcelona.
The two-time World Cup veteran told IBTimes UK in January: “If Van Gaal continues he will leave. I think it is a relationship that has already been broken. Falcao understands that the coach does not want him.
“I remember when I went to Newcastle Kevin Keegan wanted me. He supported me a lot and here it is obvious that Van Gaal does not trust Falcao.
"I never had Van Gaal as a coach but if we look his career he is a person who always had problems with footballers and especially with the stars of the team.
“At Barcelona it already happened with Riquelme and Rivaldo. It is weird that always happens with the South American players.”