Louis van Gaal wanted to try Angel di Maria up front in order to inject some pace into Manchester United’s pedestrian attack.
The Dutchman explained that he wanted Di Maria’s pace to create spaces which Man United’s midfielders would be able to exploit, thus creating more goalscoring opportunities.
“I tried it because I didn’t have the preparation at the beginning of the season,” said Van Gaal.
“I tried him as a striker as we needed pace in that position. We must stretch the pitch.
“Then you make the pitch bigger, your midfielders can play in a bigger space and play a better positional game.”
Fans have been disappointed to see Di Maria played further up the pitch because it is not where he has been most influential this season.
Van Gaal’s comments reinforces our view that James Wilson could be crucial in allowing Di Maria the central role he needs to flourish at Man United.
Wilson has the pace and is a natural finisher, so it makes perfect sense to allow him to start with Di Maria in behind him providing opportunities.
Robin van Persie could return to the starting XI to face Cambridge United tonight but it would be good to see Van Gaal stick with Wilson and Di Maria from the start to see how their partnership works.