Manchester United’s record signing Angel di Maria has laid the blame squarely on club manager Louis van Gaal for his lack of success at the club.
Di Maria joined the Manchester giants in the summer of 2014 from Real Madrid of the Spanish league for a transfer fee nearing £60m, but he couldn’t find his best form during his only season at Old Trafford.
Increasingly unsettled, the Argentina international who bagged the Player of the Match award in the 2014 Champions League final against Atletico Madrid, forced a move away from Old Trafford and landed at Paris Saint-Germain last summer.
Di Maria has instantly found his best form and has gone on to score 13 goals and set up his team-mates with 16 assists in all competitions as they bagged the league title in record time and prepare to face Manchester City in a Champions League quarter-final fixture at the Parc des Princes on Wednesday.
Opening up about his ill-fated stint in the Premier League, the Argentine has revealed that the constant chopping and changing employed by Van Gaal didn’t help his cause and he couldn’t get into the rhythm.
“It’s not nice to say certain things but it’s more that they didn’t let me settle properly than I couldn’t settle,” Di Maria told the BBC in an interview.
“I left and that team are still playing the same way. [They are] out of the European competitions, far from being champions of the Premier League.”
“I don’t think it was my fault or the fault of my team-mates. Every time I was given the opportunity, I did all I could but it didn’t work out as I hoped. So I decided to leave, not only to be happy but to win things. I started a game in one position then the next game in another. I scored goals playing in one position, then suddenly the next game I was picked to play in a different position.”
“It’s up to the manager to decide where and how every player should play, but I think that the player should be comfortable in that position and adapt to it”, he added.
Di Maria further revealed that the approach of Paris Saint-Germain boss Laurent Blanc is diametrically opposite to that of the Dutchman and it has helped him find his feet in his inaugural season in the French capital.
“That is what I’m doing here and I’m very thankful to the manager for it.
“From the beginning he was clear where he wanted to play me and has never changed his mind. He gave me total freedom to move where I need to move. I’m very happy here and it wasn’t the case over there.”
Di Maria has been billed as the missing piece of the puzzle for PSG in their quest for European glory. It will be interesting to see if he can inspire them to the Champions League trophy come May.