Angel Di Maria, whose form has declined since his British record transfer from Real Madrid to Manchester United FC, can still play an important role in his side’s quest for success this season, according to assistant manager Ryan Giggs.
The 27-year-old Argentine became the most expensive player signed by a British club when he joined United for 59.7 million pounds ($90.3 million) last year but after scoring three times in his first five league matches, he has not found the net since January.
“He’s a quality player and we’ll be looking for him to produce because it is big game after big game now,” Giggs said before United play holders Arsenal in an FA Cup quarter-final on Monday.
“Players get used to different leagues, sometimes quickly and sometimes it takes a bit of time.
“He had a really good start to the season but with players who take risks and who can win games it’s always difficult to be consistent because they will try things that other players won’t do.
“They’re capable of doing that and that’s why they’re match-winners and the best players.”
While things have not gone well on the field for the Argentine, they have been even worse off it.
The 4 million-pound house he was renting was attacked by burglars in January who used scaffolding poles to try to smash in doors while he and his young family were eating.
The thieves fled empty-handed after triggering an alarm system.
Di Maria and his family moved into a luxury hotel after the incident with round-the-clock security and the house was put up for sale by the owner last week.
United, who are fourth in the Premier League, face a tough run of matches as they bid to finish high enough to return to the Champions League after a season’s absence.
After playing Arsenal, their next five games are against Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool, Aston Villa, Manchester City and Chelsea.
($1 = 0.6615 pounds)