Manchester United have confirmed the signing of Angel Di Maria from Real Madrid for an initial fee of £59.7m plus add-ons.
The signing takes United’s summer spending to £130.7m with more additions expected before the transfer window closes next Monday.
Di Maria, one of the standout performers in this summers World Cup AND Man of the Match in the Champions League Final for Madrid back in May, becomes the most expensive player in British football history.
At the price, and with his obvious quality, there is no doubt Di Maria will walk into the side to face Burnley at on Saturday, but where?
With Louis Van Gaal keen to exert his 3-5-2 system on United, where does one of the best attacking wingers fit into the plan? Wingback? Surely not but where else is there? Perhaps it denotes a huge shift in thinking for Van Gaal who has, in the past, found much success adopting the infamously Dutch way of playing, 4-3-3. If so however, where does Rooney and/or Van Persie fit into the team?
Di Maria’s signature creates more questions than it solves problems, but what a great problem to have. If Van Gaal (and the clubs money men) secure one or perhaps even two more additions of equally impressive stature and quality in central midfield and defence before the window closes, Van Gaal will have a squad capable of implementing both systems during the season. With United aiming to be back dining at Europe’s top table next season, the ability to switch formations would be hugely beneficial. Last season Jose Mourinho constantly pointed out how Liverpool’s lack of European football would benefit them by giving them the time to practice and train Rodger’s new system and methodology. It was a bit like stating the obvious but, given their improvement, their obvious style of play and their results last season, you have to consider it accurate. It’s conceivable and fair to expect, then, that United should benefit in much the same way thanks to their European hiatus.
I don’t know about you but I’m excited about the future under Van Gaal, I only hope we achieve relative success THIS season in order to allow the future to unfold. Relative success? Minimum top four.
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