MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Angel Di Maria will provide an ailing Manchester United with plenty of missing qualities following his big-money move from Real Madrid — pace, energy, incisiveness and goals.
Just don't expect instant miracles from the Argentina midfielder.
"I hope he shall give us good results," Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal said at Di Maria's official presentation on Thursday, "but we cannot expect after two days' training that he is the miracle what I already read.
"No, you have to work for the miracle and he knows that."
At its lowest ebb since the late 1980s, United is attempting to buy its way out of trouble with Di Maria's arrival for 59.7 million pounds ($99 million) taking the 20-time English champions' spending to about 130 million pounds ($215 million).
And investment is definitely required.
After missing out on European football this season with a disappointing seventh-place finish in the Premier League in May, United slumped to a 4-0 loss to third-tier club MK Dons in the League Cup on Tuesday — one of the most embarrassing results in its history.
Such is the prestige and history of United that it was still able to attract one of the world's top players in Di Maria, who helped Madrid become European champion for a 10th time last season.
That's the level Di Maria hopes he will soon be returning to with United.
"I come to Manchester United in order to help the team raise their game and become an important team again," Di Maria said through a translator.
Before his presentation, a highlight reel was played of Di Maria's best moments during Madrid's two legs against United in the Champions League two seasons ago. There was the whipped cross for Cristiano Ronaldo's headed goal. A piece of skill to evade Phil Jones. A dribble around Patrice Evra before unleashing a fierce shot that flew just wide.
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