Angel Di Maria has spoken out about how Louis van Gaal served as the architect of his failure to succeed at Manchester United.
The club signed Di Maria in the summer of 2014 for a then record British transfer fee of £59m, and the winger initially looked sharp, scoring on his home debut against Queens Park Rangers and producing a truly superb chip the following week away at Leicester City.
But then things went horribly wrong, with Di Maria unable to get a run of games or any tangible form for most of the campaign ahead of inevitably joining Paris Saint Germain the following summer.
Speaking ahead of returning to Old Trafford in the Champions League next month, Di Maria pointed out how Van Gaal provided ‘complications’ for him.
“We still have matches before facing Manchester!” he said.
“Manchester changed with his new coach, they lost no match. But we must think of ourselves and nothing but ourselves! If we do things well, everything will be fine.
“I only stayed one year, it was not the best time of my career, or rather I was not allowed to spend my best time.
“There were complications with the coach of the time. But thank God, I was able to come to PSG and demonstrate again who I was.”
One of Man United’s most nonsensical moves in the post-Ferguson era was buying a player in Di Maria whose best quality was dribbling for a manager who, incidentally, hated dribbling, and allowed no space for it within his zonal based passing approach.
They then quite literally did the exact same thing the following summer with Memphis Depay, which failed in similarly emphatic fashion.
It pains one to think of just how good Di Maria – and indeed Memphis – could have been under the right kind of leadership at Old Trafford.