Is the signing of Angel Di Maria yet another desperate but ill-advised signing?
There is no doubt that Di Maria is a fantastic player. If reports are to be believed a fee of around £60million has been agreed to sign the winger.
The announcement could be made in the next 48 hours, but will depend if rumours of Real Madrid wanting an extra £10million. All this stems from Ed Woodward’s statement saying that United can pay any fee for a player. Chairmen across Europe must’ve been slept with their phones waiting for call from Old Trafford.
A lot of criticism has come the way of Woodward who has failed to sign any big names for the past two years. Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale were mentioned last year, whilst Fabregas and Vidal have been rumoured this season. Once again Woodward has failed to get a big name, until now.
Since James Rodriguez signed for Real Madrid £63million earlier in the summer, rumours of Di Maria wanting to leave has been ongoing. Although he was mooted to move to PSG, the transfer collapsed.
Over the past couple of days Manchester United seemed to have barged themselves to the front of the queue to sign the unsettled player.
There is no doubt that Angel Di Maria is a terrific player, but is he really a player that United need?
The Manchester United squad picked by Louis Van Gaal for their 1-1 draw against Sunderland told you all you needed to know about the desperation for new signings in the final week of this summer's transfer window.
If Louis Van Gaal is to continue a 3-5-2 formation then Di Maria will not player as a wing-back. He won’t play as a defensive midfielder. He won’t play as a striker. The only place he could play is behind the frontmen, but this will dislodge Juan Mata. Mata would flourish with players running beyond him like a Di Maria like player.
Van Gaal would probably play the Argentine in a 4-3-3 system, where he could play in midfield or as a winger. But Manchester United does not have a good enough midfield or another winger to make the most of that formation. How do you solve a problem like Di Maria?
For the past few transfer windows United have signed players to fit square pegs in round holes. There has been a real lack investment for around three years. Fellaini and Mata have been players that have not really fit the system at Old Trafford. For too long has the squad been allowed to get stale and aged. If United want to pay £64million for a player then you have to build the team round his favourite position.
The team sheet that Van Gaal produces each week is hardly going to scare many teams in the Premier League this season. If a 3-5-2 formation is the way forward for the Dutchman then at least two new centre-backs are needed and another midfielder.
The signing of Di Maria may well prove to be a masterstroke, but that largely depends on the actions of the next seven days. This needs to be the catalyst for further action, rather than putting a band-aid on for a broken leg.