Why Angel Di Maria is NOT the answer to Manchester United's problems.
I think I should start this article by emphasising that I believe Di Maria would prove to be a good signing for the Red Devils.
The Argentine would be a great addition to any squad, and with Van Gaal struggling for quality wide men with Ashley Young, Antonio Valencia, Adnan Januzaj and makeshift winger Danny Welbeck to choose from, the Real Madrid star would add some much needed first team quality to United’s wide midfield options.
Di Maria is an accomplished crosser, something David Moyes’ side lacked last season, with the usually dependable Valencia lacking. The Real Madrid star will provide quality balls from out wide for Robin Van Persie in particular to feed on.
The Argentine can also play in a central midfield position, offering versatility to a United side currently lacking in the midfield department. However, Di Maria favours an attacking central position and Van Gaal already has Juan Mata and Shinji Kagawa behind Wayne Rooney in the pecking order to choose from.
There is no doubt that the 26 year old would offer quality in the final third, he provides pace, a direct approach, he scores goals and he creates goals but that is not Manchester United’s biggest issue.
Van Gaal has said himself there is a lack of balance in his current side and he is spot on. There is plenty of quality players going forward in Robin Van Persie, Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata and Shinji Kagawa but, not including the goalkeeper position, the quality ends there really.
I have been saying for a while that Manchester United’s real problems are in midfield and defence.
Injuries to the ageing Michael Carrick, flop Marouane Fellaini and new signing Ander Herrera leave Van Gaal thin in the midfield area. The Dutch boss needs to add new, quality faces to the centre of the park, particularly in the defensive midfield position.
A lot has been said about United’s defence, with Chris Smalling and Phil Jones’ ability regularly questioned and their performances often criticised. New £16 million signing Marcos Rojo is a start to sorting out United’s defensive issues, but at least one more top class defender is needed.
Full backs are also a problem for Van Gaal, with new signing Luke Shaw out for a month and Alexander Buttner and Patrice Evra both gone the need for a left back is increasing. United are once again linked with Daley Blind who would fit right into Van Gaal’s system having worked under him in the Dutch national side.
To sum up, Angel Di Maria would no doubt prove to be an excellent acquisition, offering pace and excellent delivery in the final third. This potential signing does, however, have the word desperate written all over it. Fans are piling pressure on for a big name signing and Di Maria fits that category but he offers little to solve United’s current crisis.
Van Gaal should first be signing a world class, ball winning midfielder who would offer cover to the centre backs. At least one new, experienced centre back is much needed to stop the goal leak and a new left back who is comfortable playing in a wing back position would also prove invaluable.
If Louis Van Gaal can sign those kind of players then, and only then, should he look to bring in players of Di Maria’s style. World class, experienced and proven at the highest level defensive players need to be his top priority right now.
Do Manchester United need Angel Di Maria, or is he just a luxury signing for the club? Join the discussion in the comment section below, or on Twitter @TBRFootball.
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