Man United’s Angel di Maria more effective out wide, says ex-Gunner

John Hartson feels Angel di Maria is struggling in the current Manchester United system

Angel di Maria is best suited to a wide position in the Manchester United side, according to John Hartson.

Louis van Gaal has persisted with playing the Argentina international in a central role in recent weeks, despite the club’s record transfer signing struggling to impress.

I would like to see him playing out wide again, where there is more space and he can run at defenders

John Hartson

Di Maria, again, failed to have an impact as Daley Blind rescued United with a stoppage-time equaliser to salvage a 1-1 draw with West Ham at Upton Park on Sunday.

Former Hammers forward Hartson feels the United manager isn’t getting the best out of the South American in a central position, failing to exploit the forward’s crossing ability and pace.

“Di Maria played at the tip of United’s midfield diamond against West Ham but I don’t think playing centrally suits him,” Hartson told BBC Sport.

“He had one of his best games for United when they used that system against QPR in September, but he was playing on the left of the diamond, behind Juan Mata. Rooney and Van Persie were up front.

“Against West Ham, Di Maria could not use his pace or his crossing ability. The middle of the pitch was very congested and he was continually crowded out whenever he tried to run with the ball.

“I would like to see him playing out wide again, where there is more space and he can run at defenders who are isolated and do not know whether to back off or try to challenge him.”

Di Maria has scored three goals and has made six assists in 16 Premier League appearances following his £59.7m move to United from Real Madrid in the summer transfer window.

United are in fourth place ahead of Tottenham Hotspur on goal difference after Mauricio Pochettino’s side were 2-1 winners against Arsenal in Saturday’s north London derby.

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