Argentina manager Tata Martino says Manchester United forward Angel di Maria’s recent slump in form is only to be expected, and has backed the Argentina international to return to his best soon.
Martino believes the remarkable way Di Maria started off his career at Old Trafford after his £59.7 million move from Real Madrid was the abnormal element and feels it will take him time to get used to his new surroundings.
He said in a news conference ahead of Argentina’s game against Portugal at Old Trafford: “I have to say that Angel is one of the very top players in world football. His start was exceptional and the fact that generally when players go to a new club and have to get used to a new league, a new team, a different style of football and different teammates.”
“I think the form that he is showing now is possibly more typical of a player going to a new club than the very first few games when he burst onto the scene and did so well.”
With Di Maria now operating as a winger for boss Louis van Gaal at United after being shifted in various positions, Martino feels his versatility is one of his great strengths and is confident the 26-year-old can adjust to the Dutch manager’s demands.
He added: “With regards to his position, I would say that Angel is the type of player who can play a number of different roles expertly. You only have to look a few seasons back when he played on the right side for Real Madrid and in the season just gone, he featured more on the inside-left in a slighter freer role.”
“Obviously, in the World Cup, he did very well when he played wide left so really, in terms of positioning, he can adapt to anywhere where the manager asks him to play.”