Di Maria's slump in form at Manchester United is normal – Martino

The 26-year-old got off to an electric start at Old Trafford but has struggled to maintain that level in his recent displays, something his national team boss feels is natural

Argentina coach Gerardo Martino believes Angel Di Maria’s current performances are being too harshly scrutinised because of his brilliant start to life at Manchester United.

The Argentine moved to Old Trafford from Real Madrid in the summer and hit the ground running under Louis van Gaal, contributing three goals and four assists in his first six Premier League games.

However, Martino suggests his early form was characteristic of a longer-serving player and that the dip in form is just natural for a player adapting to a new league.

Speaking ahead of Argentina’s clash with Portugal at Old Trafford, Martino said: “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 team-mates.

“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.”

Martino went on to praise the 26-year-old’s versatility, something he witnessed first hand when in charge of Barcelona in 2013-14.

“With regards to his position, I would say that Angel is the type of player who can play a number of different roles expertly,” he added.

“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 free 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.”

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