Angel Di Maria has become the latest Manchester United signing after joining the club for a British record transfer fee of £59.7m. The Argentinian will thrive under Louis van Gaal’s managership and will become United’s saviour. The player was officially announced at United’s Carrington training ground yesterday, just hours before MK Dons beat van Gaal’s men 4-0 in the Capital One Cup. Di Maria has signed a five-year deal with wages thought to be around £200,000 a week. The initial fee was £59.7m, but will rise to around £70m with add-ons. Di Maria was instrumental in Real Madrid’s 2013-14 campaign which finished with a famous Champions League win over city rivals Atletico Madrid in the final. The midfielder won man-of-the-match in that game and thoroughly deserved the award after a tremendous season. So why was he allowed to leave the European giants? His journey down the pecking order began last summer when Madrid signed Gareth Bale for a record fee. Then just 12 months later, James Rodriguez signed from AS Monaco and another left-footed midfielder joined the club. It was then that Di Maria was allowed to leave. Angel Di Maria has claimed that he never wanted to leave Real Madrid, but has stated that he will do his best for Manchester United and wants to stay for the long-term.
“Unfortunately today I have to go, but I want to make clear that this was never my desire. I went to the World Cup with the hope of receiving a new contract, which never came. Many things and many lies were spoken. They always wanted to attribute the initiative to me to leave the club, but I did not. There are many things that I value and many of them have nothing to do with my salary. I hope to progress at Manchester United, one of the biggest clubs in the world, where I wise to make history.”
One of Di Maria’s greatest qualities is the way he can run with the ball at such pace. He can beat defenders with and without the ball at his feet and that is something that Manchester United have missed since the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo.
With van Gaal’s philosophy of playing three in the midfield and two wing backs, Di Maria can fit seamlessly into a left-sided midfield position as he has done so successfully for Argentina. Since playing in this position for his national team, the player has transformed into a much more all-rounded player.
Angel Di Maria is also a very strong character and proof of this comes from the most recent World Cup in Brazil. When Argentina took on Switzerland in the second round, everything seemed to go wrong for the team. Angel Di Maria was particularly disappointing with statistics of giving the ball away 51 times and a pass completion percentage of just 63 percent.
However badly Di Maria was, he never hid from the ball or shirked his responsibility. He continued going forward and trying to make decisive passes. This persistence was rewarded when he netted the winner in the 118th minute. He then went on to help set up the winning goal in the quarter-final against Belgium.
This persistence and desire to succeed is something that Manchester United desperately need in. Louis van Gaal will be hoping that Di Maria will be an instant success at Old Trafford, but even if he is not, he will not give up and he won’t shy away until he becomes a far better player.
Di Maria coming to England is an outcome which always seemed likely at some stage in his career. Reproducing last season’s Real Madrid form in a red shirt will surely give Di Maria a lasting place in the affections of United fans.