Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal confessed that Angel di Maria is struggling to adjust to English football after substituting him at half-time of United`s 2-0 win over Sunderland.
After a promising start to his United career, following a club-record £59.7 million ($92.2 million, 82.3 million euros) transfer from Real Madrid, the form of the Argentina international has dipped.
Di Maria has scored just once for United since the start of October and, after an ineffective first half against Sunderland at Old Trafford on Saturday, he was taken off at the interval by Van Gaal.
“When a player is not in a match, I have to do that,” said Van Gaal of the substitution. “I`m the manager and I cannot deny what I see.
“We have to give Angel a little bit more time to adapt to the Premier League, the high English rhythm. It is not so easy.”
Di Maria`s adaptation to life in England has not been aided by a recent attempted burglary at his home, which occurred while he, his wife and young child were on the premises.
United have provided the family with security and moved them into a hotel, but Van Gaal conceded that the incident had not helped his star signing settle in Manchester.
“Of course,” said the Dutchman. “I have already talked about the `total human being principle`, so his environment also has an influence on him, on every human being.
“Me, as a manager, also I have to manage that environment. That takes more time for him? OK, give him that time.