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Will Di Maria Shine at PSG?

October 12, 2015

- Grant Whittington

At the end of his brief and unhappy Manchester sojourn, there have been some who have questioned whether Angel Di Maria is past his prime as a player. This is perfectly understandable, especially after regular injuries and a noticeable lack of physical strength seemed to undermine his time at Louis Van Gaal’s Manchester United. Experts have no doubt that the Argentine winger will bounce back from this disappointment, however, and shine in his new Parisian surroundings.

Why Di Maria Struggled to Succeed in his Year at Old Trafford

To understand this, it is important to put Di Maria’s time at Old Trafford into context. The Argentine started brightly at the club, scoring and assisting in four of his first five games, before Van Gaal began to experiment with his side and moved Di Maria to play in several different positions. He then suffered a debilitating pelvic injury at the end of November, which kept him out for six weeks and prevented him from enjoying sustained prolonged exposure in the first-team.

Alongside this unsettled and punctuated existence on the field, Di Maria also suffered the trauma of having his new Manchester home burgled in the New Year. This caused significant unrest for Di Maria and his young family, and exacerbated the huge issues he was experiencing on the field of play. These factors, alongside Di Maria’s relatively small frame and lack of physicality) derailed his time at Manchester and prevented him from achieving anywhere near his full potential.

A Fresh Start: Why Di Maria will be a success in Paris

In this respect, it is hardly fair to describe the diminutive Argentinian as a spent force that has seen better days. At 28 he is actually approaching the peak of his career, and simply endured a series of setbacks that prevented him from playing regularly and adapting to the immense demands of EPL football. If he had remained at Old Trafford for another year and avoided injury, it is highly likely that he would have thrived and had a big impact on the English season.

As it is, he will head to Paris and benefit from playing in a more technical and slightly slower league. He will also be able to play in surroundings that are more akin to those he enjoyed in Madrid, which will instantly make him feel at ease. With this in mind, we can expect Di Maria to return to the kind of form that earned him a record-breaking move to the EPL in the first place.

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