Manchester City defender Pablo Zabaleta has no doubts whatsoever that Angel di Maria will be a success at Manchester United.
The Argentine has started United’s last two games on the substitute’s bench and it is unlikely that he will force his way into the starting XI for the Manchester derby on Sunday.
However, Zabaleta insisted Di Maria has the ability to come good for United and warned his City teammates to be wary of the 27-year-old should be play against them.
Speaking about Di Maria’s situation, Zabaleta said: “I’ve met Angel a few times in Manchester and we spoke when we’ve been on international duty together. It’s been a very tough season for him not only on the field but off it as well and that has made things hard for his family.
“Sometimes when you are in a different country it can take time to settle well and his high price tag also adds a lot of pressure. But I have no doubts he will become a big success for United because he’s a top-quality player and if he’s not at his best at the moment, he’s still a great asset to have.
“He’s quick, fast and a great dribbler and whenever you play against him you know you are in for a difficult game. He’s the sort of player who can really hurt you if you give him too much space and time.
“I speak as a friend rather than a City player — I don’t want United to have great success but I only wish him the best on a personal level.”
Di Maria’s form has been a worry for United fans given the £59m it took to prise him away from Real Madrid last summer.
The hope is that Di Maria is simply going through a slump and that he will kick on next season when he has fully adjusted to life in England. There have been rumours that United may look to offload the player but they would be unwise to do that so soon after paying big money for him.