Football

Why Di Maria should not and will not leave Manchester United this summer

Di Maria playing for Argentina. Photo ‘Global Panorama’ via Flickr.

Everyday I hear rumours of Angel Di Maria leaving Manchester United this summer and frankly, I’m sick of it. The player himself has said many times he isn’t leaving and Sky Sports has made it clear that United have no intention of selling, yet the rumours still continue. Here are my reasons why he shouldn’t and won’t leave this summer. Of course I can’t predict the future and I may be proved wrong but I’m confident of seeing Di Maria in a United shirt at the start of the season.

1. United bought him for £59.7 million (just over €85 million), making him the most expensive British transfer ever. To put this in perspective against some of the Premier League’s best players: David Silva to Man City – £24 million, Sergio Aguero to Man City – £38 million, Eden Hazard to Chelsea – £32 million, Alexis Sanchez to Arsenal – £35 million, Mesut Ozil to Arsenal – £42.5 million and Diego Costa to Chelsea: £32 million. Di Maria was miles ahead of all of them. From United’s point of view, it would be such a waste to effectively give up on him after one season.

2. They won’t make their money back. The rumours are PSG are ready to/already have put in a bid of £45 million. This marks an almost £15 million loss after one year for a 27-year-old – it’s not like he’s old, he should be at his peak. So why would it make sense for United to lose so much when they made such a big investment less than 12 months ago?

3. His quality is undeniable so why would the club want to sell him? In a bad season, he got the 3rd most assists in the league and think back to his goal against Leicester. Di Maria is a world-class footballer and if you can get him confident, he can be devastating and the difference in any match.

4. Maybe the club would hate to sell him, but Di Maria wants to force the move. But from his perspective, surely he won’t want to give up after one season? He had a tough second half of the campaign but for the first couple of months, he was great. You could see how much he was enjoying his time then so does he just want to throw all that away?

In addition, he’s said several times he isn’t leaving.

Quote 1 (May 17th):

“Adapting to English football is not easy. People told me the first year for a foreigner here is hard. And that’s true. My challenge is not for one year, but to become part of the history of Manchester United.”

Quote 2 (June 5th):

“It was a hard season for me. I think it was hard because it was another country and another league, and this league is harder than the Spanish one. So, I couldn’t adapt myself as I wanted to. Now I will play the Copa America and then I will move back to Manchester for next season and do my best there.”

Quote 3 (June 24th):

No [I will not leave], because I’m not thinking like that. In Madrid there were times when I was whistled around the stadium but faced it and then it turned around. I like to deal with things.”

I’m sure there’s one or two more as well. I know players and managers say things and then do the complete opposite but when you say something so many times, surely there’s truth in it.

Di Maria at Real Madrid. Unfortunately I couldn’t find any Creative Commons Flickr images of him at United. Photo ‘Alvaro Campo’ via Flickr.

5. PSG is a step down; there’s absolutely no doubt about that. My opinion is PSG are an overrated team in an average league. Anyone who disagrees will of course say ‘They beat Chelsea in the Champions League’. That (the second leg) was a one-off game where Chelsea didn’t know whether to attack or defend. Chelsea are better than PSG, simple as that. Ligue 1 is not a good league – no top player would go to France just to play in that competition. They go to PSG because of the money and because it’s Paris. If Di Maria wants to truly test himself as a player, he has to play in England, Spain, Germany (or maybe Italy).

6. Why should he leave an improving team under a top manager? Louis van Gaal has won it all and has been given the task of winning the league in the next two years. The recent acquisitions of Morgan Schneiderlin, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Matteo Darmian suggest he and Ed Woodward are not messing around. Nicolas Otamendi seems like a matter of time too so United are building a really strong side that should be competing in all competitions. Di Maria went through the transition season under van Gaal so why would he now leave a much improved side?

7. This isn’t uncommon for a first season in the Premier League. It’s true, some players take to the league with no problem, e.g. Diego Costa, Alexis Sanchez… the list goes on. However for a lot of players, it takes a season to get used to the speed, intensity and relentlessness of our competition. For example, Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra really struggled in their first half season but then went from strength to strength for so many years. After one season, Di Maria will know what to expect so he should feel more used to it and then his quality can show.

Overall as a United fan, of course I want Di Maria to stay but from a neutral point of view it makes no sense why United would sell him. Unless he hands in a transfer request or another club is willing to pay more than the £59.7 million, I fully expect Di Maria to stay at least for one more year.

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