Angel di Maria has experienced an odd 12 months. In May 2014, he was man of the match in a Champions League final for Real Madrid and now is stuck on the bench at Manchester United.
After arriving for almost £60m last summer, Di Maria showed all his world class ability to make an instant impact on what had been a lifeless start to Louis van Gaal‘s time in charge.
Three goals in his opening five games gave supporters reasons to believe they had a genuinely world class player but injuries, a burglary and even a suspension have contributed to poor form since the turn of the year.
Di Maria was unfortunate that he was banned as United put their best performance of the season in against Tottenham, meaning he was on the bench for the last two matches against Liverpool and Aston Villa but Louis van Gaal says Di Maria’s time will come.
“I have said that already – expensive is not the issue,” the manager said.
“Do I have to make a line-up with the most expensive players? I don’t think so.
“That is not an argument, in my opinion, but an argument is that he gave his 10th assist and he did not play all the games like Herrera, so it is fantastic.
“Di Maria, his turn is coming but I have to wait for the right moment.”
The Argentine claimed his tenth assist of the season against Villa, setting up Wayne Rooney for United’s second, adding to the assist he got two weeks ago against Liverpool.
Whilst he may not have a set spot in the team right now, Di Maria is still showing his quality when called upon and is a superb player to be able to bring off the bench late in a game.