How do you solve a problem like (Angel di) Maria? The Manchester United midfielder arrived at Old Trafford last summer with a reputation as one of the world’s best players but he has looked anything but in the last few weeks.
Ashley Young, who is enjoying a remarkable campaign, has instead kept the Argentine signing out of the starting XI.
The 29-year-old fully warrants his place in the team on current form but there is a niggling sense that Di Maria can provide a moment of quality during a game that Young simply can’t.
With that in mind ahead of the Manchester City game, we asked our Twitter followers if Di Maria should be included in the starting line up:
@PeoplesPerson_ Yes because he's our best player. Simple.
— Hasan (@fantastlsco) April 10, 2015
@PeoplesPerson_ yes yes yes FFS no point dropping someone who always has a moment of game-deciding brilliance in him
— ಅಖಂಡ ಬ್ರಹ್ಮಚಾರಿ (@Midnight_Ranter) April 10, 2015
@PeoplesPerson_ No, I'd still play Ash ahead of him at the moment. Bring him on as impact if need be.
— OpinUnited (@opin_united) April 10, 2015
@PeoplesPerson_ Definitely. The lad is world class. On his 'bad' day he gets an assist as a minimum. Will offer more than Young.
— Paul Formosa (@paulmagmar) April 10, 2015
no he shouldn't. Young brings the balance on the left flank. Like the liverpool game, he should be sent to kill the game. @PeoplesPerson_
— Naveen (@Navveeenn) April 10, 2015
@PeoplesPerson_ Yes. 1. He's our best player 2. He can change a game just like that 3. Big game player
— Mata fan (@NotAManCantona) April 10, 2015
@PeoplesPerson_ Mercurial players are needed in these sort of games. Harsh on Young, but he should start.
— finn.i.am (@FutbolFinn) April 10, 2015
— Aditya Vandkar (@Aditya_16V) April 10, 2015
@PeoplesPerson_ No, Young is in form, better defensively and is the 'safer' option at the moment. Di Maria better as late sub.
— Darruzaj (@rajman74) April 10, 2015
@PeoplesPerson_ yes. Regardless of whether he'll put in a good or bad performance you can guarantee he'll create chances
— cal (@RarcosMojo) April 10, 2015
Louis van Gaal has often spoke of how he is unconcerned by reputations when it comes to his team selection so it is no surprise to see Young in the team for now.
However, United paid Real Madrid £59m for Di Maria for a reason. The Argentine is going through a rough time of late but he is still regarded as one of the world’s most dangerous players.
The City game will likely come too soon for Di Maria as van Gaal may prefer to utilise Young’s superior defensive contribution. If things go sour during the match, Di Maria will provide a good plan B from the bench.