Angel Di Maria looks a shadow of his former self in Manchester United's loss to West Brom

Old Trafford

Manchester United threw on Angel Di Maria to change the game against West Bromwich Albion, but his end product was poor.

Angel Di Maria has not started a Premier League game since the beginning of March. He is not trusted from the start by Louis van Gaal due to his poor ball retention and inconsistent end product.

It is all a far cry from the form which saw him star in both the Champions League and the World Cup last season, where he helped guide former club Real Madrid to glory and Argentina to a runners-up spot.

Di Maria is undoubtedly world-class on his day but is struggling for confidence in a United shirt. People may blame the burglary which he suffered during the win over Leicester in January, but the Argentine has only shown quality in glimpses for a long time now.

It says a lot that many fans are happy that perennial scapegoat Ashley Young is ahead of him in the pecking order due to the Englishman’s consistency in that left wing role. Di Maria has been restricted to a role as super sub, something which was not expected from a player who United paid a British record fee for last summer.

The Argentine was once again brought on by van Gaal as soon as United went 1-0 down at home to West Brom on Saturday but once again, Di Maria failed to deliver. His severe lack of confidence is there for all to see.

Barring a long-range shot which Boaz Myhill magnificently tipped over the bar, Di Maria was wayward with his delivery, passing and first touch. United fans were left wondering where the player which was arguably the best player in the Champions League last season was.

Di Maria was given several opportunities to deliver quality into the box, attempting nine crosses in his short cameo. Only one of them hit a United target with eight of them sailing wildly over or straight into the keeper’s hands. His radar was completely off.

There were a few other moments where Di Maria passed the ball out of play or behind a teammate as United chased the game, much to the bemusement of the crowd.

Nearly all of United’s regulars' passing accuracy is over 85% this season but Di Maria’s stands at 78%. It shows that he has not got to grips with van Gaal’s style at all.

Although he is more of a risk taker than Young or Juan Mata, none of his risks are coming off at the moment and it is completely understandable that he continues to sit on United’s bench.

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