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Don’t expect miracles from Angel: Van Gaal

- Legacy of No. 7 won’t bog me down: Di Maria
Angel Di Maria during his official presentation at Old Trafford

London: Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal says instant miracles shouldn’t be expected from Angel Di Maria.

The highly-coveted Argentina international joined United this week in a record £59.7million deal from Real Madrid.

The 26-year-old has been handed the club’s famous No. 7 shirt and his arrival has the potential to excite fans after a poor start to the season.

Van Gaal, however, has warned he cannot be expected to transform fortunes immediately. Speaking at a press conference to unveil Di Maria, the Dutchman said: “I am very pleased that we can have such a class player in our squad but you have many class players.

“For me it is also important that he is a team player and that is what I am liking in Di Maria — not only class, and that he can accelerate the game for us, but that he can also play in the interests of the team.

“That is why we have chosen this player and I hope he shall give us good results, but we cannot expect after two days’ training sessions that he could create miracles… That what I already read (about)… So I want to make one thing clear that you cannot expect miracles from Angel.”

Questions have been asked of Van Gaal’s tactics, notably his 3-5-2 formation, and consequently where Di Maria would fit into that.

Van Gaal said: “I only buy players that can improve our philosophy so I have spoken already about his way of playing in the interests of the team. But what he can do more than fit in our philosophy, is I can change the system for him and maybe I shall do that in the future, like I have already done against Swansea City.

“He played at Real Madrid not only as a wide wing player but also in midfield so that is also a reason why we are convinced he shall succeed.”

Di Maria himself is happy to fit in wherever Van Gaal wishes to deploy him.

Di Maria, Man of the Match in last season’s Champions League final, said: “It depends on the manager and where he wants to play me.

“I have come here to work for the team and I am prepared to play in any position he wants to. I just want to help the club become successful again.”

Di Maria is well aware of the significance of United’s No. 7, a shirt worn with distinction in the past by the likes of George Best, Steve Coppell, Bryan Robson, Eric Cantona, David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo.

He said: “I was aware of the importance of the No.7 shirt. Cristiano had spoken to me at Real Madrid and told me how important it was. I wanted to wear this shirt and do as much for the club as Ronaldo and the others could do.”

“The club also wanted me to wear it so I want to live up to it. But then, I won’t be bogged down by the legacy of No. 7 shirt.”