Former manager Louis van Gaal says winger Angel Di Maria wasn’t his choice at Manchester United despite the club paying a then-Premier League record fee of £59.7 million for the Argentine star.
In an interview with The Guardian, van Gaal said he was ‘satisfied’ with the club signing Di Maria but that he had other targets, believing the team already had enough creative midfielders.
“I was satisfied [with signing Di Maria], because he was a creative player, but I had other players on the list,” the Dutch coach told the publication.
“Di María had a problem with the English football culture and the climate. You cannot buy players and know, for sure, that they can deliver. You cannot know because football is a team sport.”
He also dismissed critics of his management of Di Maria, having played the natural winger in several different positions where he was less comfortable.
“I always ask a player where he wants to play. For him it was wing, wide and mostly left. In the Argentina team he plays on the left. I started with him there,” van Gaal said.
“He was not performing that well, to a level you could expect from an £80m player. I believe, then, I have to see if another position is better for him. I have played him left winger, as the 10, second striker and on the right. Then the critics say he is having to play in too many positions. I gave him all the chances that there were to perform well.”