Di Maria has hit the ground running with two goals and two assists in his first three appearances for the club and is immediately living up to the expectations that come with being United’s new No.7 after a club record move from Real Madrid.
The Argentinian is likely to start against West Ham today and although Van Gaal has been impressed with him, he does feel there are areas he can improve: “In ball possession, Di Maria is playing fantastic and creating a lot, scoring goals and giving assists,” he said.
“So, as a trainer-coach, you cannot want more. But we have also a key moment in football when we lose the ball – then he can improve.”
As for Shaw, Van Gaal has been impressed by his ability to recover both mentally and physically after being injured so early in his United career and is anxious to see the 19-year-old in action: “Luke Shaw has impressed me because of his rehabilitation and how he did that but it is much more difficult to make the step again to be in the line-up.
“Maybe, last week, he could have played but it is better to give an injured player more time to recover and that is why he didn’t play last week. He is now ready to play and I am anxious to see him.
Van Gaal also had a few final words to say about Falcao and insisted he was more than happy with the Colombian’s start to life at Old Trafford as he felt he needed time to fully regain his match fitness like Robin van Persie did after the World Cup: “We are building up Falcao in the same way we are building up the other players.
“You have seen that when I let Robin van Persie train also for three weeks at first before he played 60 minutes. I did the same with Falcao. He has impressed me. He played very well. I hope he can continue.”