Wayne Rooney has passed on his words of encouragement to Angel di Maria and backed him to get back to his best for Manchester United this season.
Di Maria started off his career with a bang by putting in a series of excellent performances straight away which got fans excited at the thought of him maintaining that form all year.
Instead of doing that, Di Maria has gone off the boil which has led to deserved criticism for his muted performances but speaking to ManUtd.com, Rooney said he had every confidence in the Argentinian returning to his best sooner rather than later.
“Of course he has,” Rooney said.
“It [Saturday] was just one of those days that every footballer has. He is a great player, he has shown that and you don’t lose your talent overnight. Hopefully he will get back to his best and start giving some great performances for us.
“He has got a lot of experience and I think he will figure it out, we all have to do that sometimes. There is nothing worse than when everyone keeps going on at you. You have to come to it in your own way and I am sure he will be a big player for us between now and the end of the season.”
Last year Di Maria won the UEFA Champions League with Real Madrid, reached the World Cup final with Argentina and was subsequently named in the FIFPro World XI. That sort of class doesn’t disappear overnight.
Whether it is a loss of confidence or a lack of fitness, something isn’t quite right with Di Maria right now but he will have been through similarly quiet periods at other points in his career.
What he has to now do, as Rooney alluded to, is sort his own problems himself. Nobody will be able to flick a switch and get Di Maria back playing as he was at the start of the season, he will instead have to correct his own mistakes.
When Di Maria does that, he’ll make himself such a dangerous asset to the team once again and with games against Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool all coming up in the next three weeks, van Gaal will be hoping that he can find his form quickly.