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PART TWO

Man United risk repeating the Angel Di Maria fiasco with Paulo Dybala transfer

The internet is abuzz with rumours of Paulo Dybala’s imminent transfer to Man United.

Fans are understandably excited about the possible addition of the talented Argentine forward.

And some of United faithful are even more thrilled about Romelu Lukaku’s rumoured move in the opposite direction.

But is anyone else getting echoes of the not-too-distant past?

When you have to trade De Ligt, Bonucci and Chiellini for Jones, Smalling and Rojo

AP:Associated Press
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When you have to trade De Ligt, Bonucci and Chiellini for Jones, Smalling and Rojo

Five years ago this very month, United announced the signing of Angel Di Maria for £59.7million — the highest fee paid by a British club at the time.

The transfer was notable for many reasons, not least the common knowledge the Argentina international didn’t actually want to leave Real Madrid.

Di Maria got off to a bright start under Louis van Gaal, scoring an audacious chip against in Leicester in a 5-3 defeat.

He also chipped in with his fair share of assists (ten).

In fact, only Santi Cazorla and Cesc Fabregas provided more assists in the 2014/15 Premier League season.

And then things took a turn for the worse

Getty - Contributor
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And then things took a turn for the worse

However, as United’s season spluttered, Di Maria exhibited no appetite for the fight — an issue rooted in his reluctance to leave the Bernabeu, as well as untimely hamstring injury.

Di Maria’s ability was never been questioned, only his desire.

A similar thing could be said of Paul Pogba and Alexis Sanchez, two players who have been viewed as money-grabbing mercenaries by the harsher segment of United’s fan base.

In essence, there’s a demand for players of a lower profile who will give their all for the shirt.

The recruitment of Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James this summer suggested Ed Woodward and co had taken this on board.

Wouldn’t Dybala – who we are told is keen to remain at Juventus – not be a return to the transfer policy that has hindered United in the post-Ferguson years?

Pogba and Dybala are good mates to this day

Getty Images - Getty
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Pogba and Dybala are good mates to this day

On the other hand, it may be as simple as: Dybala is bloody good at football and would make almost any team in the world better.

Di Maria didn’t want to leave Real and it negatively affected his United performances.

Dybala doesn’t want to leave Juve but he may use the Old Lady’s disregard as motivation to ensure his Old Trafford career is as successful as possible.

We don’t know until it happens.

This isn’t a problem if you’re a snivelling biased journo hiding behind a keyboard, but if you’re the one who commits to paying him (insert ungodly sum of money here) every single week then it’s more a head-scratcher.

A talented Argentina international being forced out of a top European club in the direction of Old Trafford… we’ve already seen that episode.


NEXT: Why aren’t Bernardo Silva or Raheem Sterling nominated for FIFA’s ‘The Best’ Award?

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