Gary Neville expected dazzling Angel di Maria and Luke Shaw partnership

Gary Neville expected dazzling Angel di Maria and Luke Shaw partnership

Former red Gary Neville has been disappointed that Manchester United duo Angel Di Maria and Luke Shaw haven’t linked up well so far.

Both players were brought in for a combined total of almost £90m, and whilst Di Maria showed early glimpses of his Real Madrid form, the 19-year-old left back has struggled with injuries.

Neville’s imagination may have been fanciful either way given Di Maria didn’t play as an out-and-out left winger with Real Madrid, he has often played on the right for United or the left side of a midfield diamond.

“The players brought to the club by David Moyes – Marouane Fellaini and Juan Mata – had their attributes, but neither were quick or likely to encourage an expansive game and, although Mata can dribble, it is usually only in small spaces.

“I had doubts as to whether they were United players, but I had absolutely no doubts about Angel di Maria.

“I fully expected Di Maria and Luke Shaw to form a devastating partnership down the left flank and, even at close to £60m, I had no thoughts whatsoever that his signing was a risk.

“I just believed he would come into the team and light the place up.”

Which in fairness, the Argentinian international did for a short while. After a superb home debut where he scored and influenced United to a 4-0 win against QPR, it looked like Di Maria was ready to carry on his form from the Champions League final with Real Madrid.

Further strikes followed against both Leicester City and Everton, but Di Maria has managed just one more goal since October.

Shaw has shown glimpses of his talent too and for a teenager it’s obvious once he regains fitness he can be an important part of United’s team for the next decade. Whilst he has a long way to go to replicate how important Patrice Evra was going forward, supporters will believe that will come with games and experience.

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