Last season, Angel Di Maria was one of the best in the world. He had played a pivotal role in Real Madrid’s Champions League triumph and Argentina’s run to the World Cup final in Brazil.
This season, amid great transfer rumours linking him to major European clubs, he ended up at Old Trafford with Manchester United. He was immediately given No. 7 and was expected to emulate the likes of Best, Cantona and his former Galacticos teammate Cristiano Ronaldo who had earlier graced this shirt.
The start was bright if a bit subdued and Di Maria did occasionally show sparks of brilliance as was evidenced by his beautiful chipped goal against Leicester. However, such footballing genius was in no way regular and just as he was about to spread his wings with the Red Devils, he was bogged down by multiple injury crises.
While on the sidelines. Di Maria witnessed an unlikely renaissance by a rejuvenated Ashley Young who had stepped up his game to such an extent under Louis Van Gaal that even after a successful return from injury, he was unable to usurp his English counterpart and was relegated to the substitutes bench.
His appearances late in the match as a sub were less than ideal as not only did he often play out of position but he also seemed rather nervy, rusty and lacking match fitness.
What Angel Di Maria desperately needs to get back to his best is an extended run in the first team in his preferred position. Given the current circumstances and recent arrival of Memphis Depay, that appears unlikely and with transfer speculation linking the Argentine to PSG grows increasingly loud, his future with Manchester United looks ever so unsure.