Some frank comments from Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal about the club’s record transfer signing. Angel di Maria arrived from Real Madrid for a British record £59.7m in the summer, but after a bright start his star has faded quickly.
Di Maria has not scored in the Premier League since the first week of October and he was dragged off at half-time against Sunderland at the weekend, in what was possibly the worst performance of his career.
But as Van Gaal pointed out, most of United’s summer signings have found it hard to make an immediate impact, and he believes they may all take 12 months to acclimatise to the Premier League and the surroundings.
“The first season is always difficult,” Van Gaal said. “You can say it to every player we have bought: [Luke] Shaw, [Daley] Blind, [Ander] Herrera, [Radamel] Falcao and also Di Maria.
“For me it is not a big surprise, it would have been more of a big surprise [if] he had adapted as quickly as possible. In the Netherlands, Spain and Germany, I had the same experience with players.
“We have to give him time, not just for him but to all the other players. The time frame is dependable on the individual as there are so many different aspects of the game, of the match but also of the culture in the country.”
Despite the Sunderland performance, Van Gaal says he has no qualms about selecting the 27-year-old for Wednesday’s trip to Newcastle.
“Di Maria is not the only player who has suffered a bad day,” Van Gaal added on MUTV. “He can be the best player in the world in the next match, so I think everything is going well. He has trained very well and I don’t think there is any problem.”