Manchester United held a press conference in the Europa Suite at Old Trafford this afternoon to unveil their new British and club record signing Angel di Maria who signed for the club on Tuesday from Real Madrid for a fee of £59.7 million. Louis van Gaal unveiled his player in the presser, but before that started, the club tweeted a Vine announcing that the player will wear the famous number seven shirt, once worn by George Best, Bryan Robson, Eric Cantona, David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo, who are the most remembered.
Louis van Gaal on his new signing Angel di Maria:
“I am very pleased that we can have such a class player in our squad, but for me it is important that he is a team player. He can accelerate the game for us but he can also play in the interest of the team. But we cannot expect after two days of training that he is the miracle. You have to work for the miracle and he knows that.
“I only buy players that can improve our philosophy. I can change the system with him and maybe we shall do that in the future. He played at Real Madrid not only as a winger but also in midfield. That’s a reason why we are convinced he shall succeed.
“I wanted to judge the players and give them a fair chance. I have done that and now I can take my measures. Of course, we know already in advance what players we want. Sometimes you can have them and sometimes not. It is dependent on the club – more the club than the players because the players want to come.”
Angel di Maria on signing for Manchester United:
“I am very pleased to play for United. I like the team and I wanted to come here even though they are not playing in the Champions League. I want to help the team get into the Champions League. I think I can help and work with the team well. I am very pleased with the manager for choosing me to come here.
“United have already won many trophies and are a very big team. I come to help the team raise their game and also be an important team once again. I want to win many trophies with them.”
Van Gaal on the rebuilding of Manchester United:
“We have to look at the future. We are doing that now by restoring and rebuilding the team. That takes time – I am sorry to say that for the fans because they are amazing, in my opinion. I hope we shall fulfil their expectations but it is not done in one month, in spite of our wins against Real Madrid and Liverpool. Of course, we have to win and get results. Hopefully we will start on Saturday at Burnley.”
Di Maria on the position he prefers to play in:
“It depends on the manager – where he wants to put me and where he wants me to play. I have come here to work for the team and I am prepared to play in any position. If a player wants to play, he is prepared to play in any position that the manager wants him to.”
Di Maria on being handed the famous Manchester United number seven shirt:
“I am aware of its importance. Cristiano Ronaldo spoke to me at Real Madrid and explained how important it is. I want to wear the shirt and do as much as I can for the club, like Ronaldo did. The club also wanted me to wear the no.7 shirt and I hope I can live up to it.”
Di Maria on his British and club record £59.7 million fee:
“It does not bother me. The fact that £60million has been paid for me is something for the club chairmen to discuss and negotiate. I have to work for the club and do my best for Manchester United.”
Van Gaal on Di Maria and the fact he expects the team to adapt to the players qualities:
“Not only does he have to adapt to the team, but the team has to adapt to his qualities. I think he will be a player who the fans can enjoy and that is also a reason why we have chosen him. When you hear his answers in this press conference, he is a very modest guy and he wants to work. It comes though in every sentence.”
Van Gaal on further transfers this summer with the closure of the window on Monday:
“I cannot say anything because it will raise the price. We cannot react to every rumour. Also, players shall go in the meantime. I had a conversation with the players after lunch and I said, after this week, we shall maybe have another group. Players will go away and others will come in. We have to wait and see.”
Van Gaal on Manchester United’s attack:
“Our problem is when we have the ball. We have to build up the play and we have to improve. I don’t think our defence is weak; our build-up is not good enough. We shall improve that.”
Van Gaal on injuries currently being suffered by the club:
“Ander Herrera is still injured. We have 10 injuries, one more than last week. It is short term. I think a lot of players shall return after the international break and then our problem is resolved.”
Van Gaal on Marcos Rojo and the problems surrounding work permit issues:
“He is working on his permit because he has to go abroad for that. The difference with Di Maria is that he has an Italian passport and Rojo does not. Now he is abroad in Madrid and it takes more time than we expect.”
Angel di Maria should make his debut against Burnley at Turf Moor on Saturday in the Barclays Premier League. The number seven is back in action at Manchester United and a true world-class player is wearing it. Gone are the days where the shirt was worn by Michael Owen and Antonio Valencia, who just did not do the famous number the justice that it deserves.