Man United unveil Di Maria as Van Gaal dampens expectation
Record signing fails to lift the gloom at Old Trafford as manager says there will be no miracles
With expectations at Manchester United in freefall Louis van Gaal has warned fans not to expect too much from record signing Angel di Maria, who has already made it clear that it was not his choice to move to Old Trafford.
But the Dutch manager says he still hopes to bring in more new signings before the transfer window closes, and revealed that he had now "judged" all the players that he had inherited. Many of the squad are expected to be offloaded in what could be a hectic final few days of transfers.
"After this weekend, we shall maybe have another group [of players]," said Van Gaal. "Players will go away and others will come in. We have to wait and see."
Talking about Di Maria, the £60m signing from Real Madrid, Van Gaal said he was a player who could "accelerate" United's revival, but warned "we cannot expect after two days’ training that he is the miracle that I already read [about]".
However, he said that once the Argentine was acclimatised to Old Trafford and the Premier League, he would be "a player the fans can enjoy".
Van Gaal's comments prove that he knows "the base metal with which he works is not about to be turned into solid gold", says The Times. "New signings, particularly ones that have cost £59.7m, are supposed to herald new eras as positivity is ushered in and negativity removed, yet all Van Gaal could offer was an exercise in expectation management."
Indeed, the paper suggests that the biggest positive to come from the unveiling of Di Maria was the promise of more signings.
But despite the lack of quality at his disposal, Van Gaal refused to blame his predecessors at Old Trafford. Asked about the recruitment policies of Alex Ferguson and David Moyes, Van Gaal replied: "That is looking at the past and that is a question I don't want to answer."
The new man "steered clear of accusing either man of leaving him with a losing hand", reports the Daily Telegraph.