Why Angel Di Maria needs to leave PSG
Last season in the Champions League, PSG defeated Barcelona 4-0 in the Round of 16, but the second leg at the Camp Nou has become the stuff of legend. Barcelona defeated Les Parisiens 6-1 to qualify for the quarter-finals. The star of that first leg was the Argentine sensation, Angel Di Maria, who was rebuilding his reputation after a disastrous season at Manchester United.
The former Real Madrid man is one of the best footballers in world football, but his time at The Parc des Princes seems to be running its course. He needs to leave the club to develop for a host of reasons which are highlighted below
The 2018 World Cup
While Di Maria is an undisputed starter for the Albiceleste of Argentina, a number of players are threatening his place if he doesn’t regain his first team opportunities in the French capital.
He helped Argentina qualify for the 2018 World Cup, despite a difficult qualifying campaign but the emergence of the likes of Diego Perroti, Paulo Dybala and Giovanni Lo Celso means that the team isn’t spoiled for choice in that department. The World Cup needs players that are in top of their game, and if Di Maria continues this way, Jorge Sampaoli may only start him based on sentiment.
PSG spent a lot of money to sign the pair of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, which has helped the team achieve another kind of dominance after the disaster of last season. PSG came second in Ligue 1 behind Monaco last season and were embarrassed by Barcelona in the Champions League despite a 4-0 victory in the first leg.
The combination of Mbappe-Cavani-Neymar have been responsible for 42 goals already this season, while the team has registered 24 goals on the continent, the most in the competition’s history. Di Maria plays best as part of a forward trio, but the form and price of the MCN means that Unai Emery, the PSG coach, can’t drop any of them.
His diminishing ability
In his final season at Real Madrid, Di Maria looked a world apart as the man-management of Carlo Ancelotti proved to bring out the best in him. Leaving Real changed his football career forever, as he struggled to adapt to English football while at United.
His directness is also not working anymore, as inverted wingers are the order of the day. Di Maria is a one-dimensional player that runs with intense pace on the wings. He is no longer the player he used to be, meaning that he has become dispensable at the club.
At almost 30, he is nearing the pinnacle of his career and must rediscover his form and quality to become the player we remember him to be. Better still, he can regain his place by fighting for his future and become a valuable member of the team.
The first step, however, might be to leave the club. Football will remember him for his courage.