Angel di Maria was entrusted with the iconic number seven shirt when he joined United for an enormous £59.7 million from Real Madrid last August. He quickly justified the honour that had been bestowed upon him by getting his Old Trafford career off to a flier.
While United's defensive line was looking a mess, the Argentinian's influence added a whole new dimension to Louis van Gaal's midfield, that had borne the brunt of much criticism in recent seasons.
However, seven months down the line and his incredible early form is becoming a distant memory. The 27-year-old's recent showings have been consistently poor and former Liverpool and Spurs midfielder Jamie Redknapp believes the United faithful deserve better from their star signing.
“At the start of the season, Di Maria was gliding across the field, but at the moment he looks weak and sluggish. We all know what he is capable of and the United fans deserve better.
“It doesn’t help when your manager over-complicates things, but Di Maria has been nowhere near good enough for a player who cost so much. His form has dipped dramatically.”
Is Jamie right?
For an individual that cost almost £60 million and is likely to be receiving a wage close to that of the club's top earners, you would expect to see him making a telling impact in the majority of matches he's involved in.
Three goals and three assists in his first four Premier League games in England led many to believe he was going to be a sensation, but his impact in games quickly stagnated. Di Maria has continued to provide assists, five more to be exact, but that isn't a surprise or a real achievement considering he is the team's set-piece taker.
He hasn't scored another league goal since his strike at home to Everton on October 5th and he has featured in 13 Premier League games since that fixture. Redknapp isn't incorrect with his assessment of Di Maria's other onfield contributions either; he looks weak and disinterested, and far too often is wasteful in possession.
The ex-Real Madrid man might still be adapting to the rigours of the Premier League and England, which in fairness isn't easy for any player coming in from overseas. His adjustment certainly wouldn't have been made any easier by the recent break-in that he had at his family home a few weeks ago, reported by the BBC.
However, Di Maria needs to turn his form around not only for the club but also for himself. Considering his price tag, there will be some who won't continue to be satisfied with the lacklustre performances Di Maria keeps making for United.
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