Angel Di Maria will silence his doubters and become a success at Manchester United in the long term, Rio Ferdinand insists.
The 27-year-old made an impressive start to life at Old Trafford following his big-money move ahead of the 2014-15 campaign, but he has been struggling to find his best form in recent weeks.
Nevertheless, Ferdinand sees no reason to doubt the Argentina international and has urged the fans to give Di Maria the time he needs to fully adapt to the Premier League.
“I thought Di Maria was a great signing for United and I still think he was a good signing because he is a top player,” Ferdinand told Goal at Heineken’s #ChampiontheMatch event in Amsterdam, which takes a look at football fans’ rituals on Champions League match day from a social point of view.
“He was arguably Madrid’s best player last year, him and Ronaldo were their standout players. I think he is a highly talented player.
“But it always takes time for a player to adapt to his new surroundings, especially when you go to a foreign league. Not every player can be like Ronaldo and just turn up and instantly become a superstar. Maybe it will take Di Maria a bit longer. It might take him a year, you never know.
“But his style does suit the Premier League. He is quick, runs at people, hungry to create chances and commit people. I think he is a very talented player and I like him.”
Ferdinand | The defender was talking at Heineken’s #ChampiontheMatch event in Amsterdam
The QPR defender also had his say on United’s defensive frailties this term, but stressed that bringing in fresh blood is not necessarily the answer.
“I think they just need to settle their defence. They have not been able to pick the same defence for two or three games on the bounce and I think that has hurt them.”
The 36-year-old then went on to discuss Chelsea’s chances of reaching the quarter-finals of the Champions League ahead of Wednesday’s second leg at Stamford Bridge, with the reverse fixture ending in a 1-1 draw, and he hailed Jose Mourinho’s men’s ability to grind out a good result when it matters most, before discarding Arsenal and Manchester City’s chances against Monaco and Barcelona, respectively.
“It’s a difficult one. Paris Saint-Germain have some great players. They do well in the French league, but they are still waiting to produce that same consistency in the Champions League. They spent a lot of money and I think their owners are demanding more from them.