Louis van Gaal says Angel di Maria is low on confidence

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Manchester United’s $90 million man isn’t exactly playing up to his price tag.

Angel di Maria has endured an up-and-down first season in Manchester, with things hitting a new low as the winger was subbed off at halftime in United’s 2-0 win over Sunderland.

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After bringing on 20-year-old Adnan Januzaj to replace the player with the most expensive British transfer fee ever, manager Louis van Gaal explained his decision. Van Gaal said Di Maria is lacking a bit of confidence, and has yet to adapt to the quicker pace of the Premier League.

I thought I had to change Angel for Januzaj and we were then better in the second half so I cannot say it was the wrong decision. The difficulty, not only with Angel, is players have to adapt to the Premier League. I have explained already that the rhythm of the game here is so high – it is much higher than in other countries.

He has to adapt to the culture so we have to give him time to adapt and also to lift his confidence again. That’s also important. He is a human being like me and like you and you can make mistakes. He is a top player so he shall overcome this period, I hope.”

The Argentinian winger has yet to find his form in Manchester, scoring only four times in all competitions this season. Even more than the statistics, di Maria has often struggled to even make an impact on matches, as seen in his early substitution over the weekend.

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When United brought in Angel di Maria and Radamel Falcao this summer, many thought Van Gaal was putting together a dream squad, only to see both players struggle massively. With Falcao only on a season-long loan and likely moving back to Monaco, the club has much more invested in Di Maria turning things around.