Injuries to Neymar and Edinson Cavani – both of whom feature in Thomas Tuchel’s first-choice front three – rule the South American duo out.
But that pushes another South American closer to centre stage and he is a man very familiar to United observers; former record signing Angel di Maria.
The former Real Madrid man joined the Reds back in 2014 for £59.7 million under Louis van Gaal but failed to show anything like his best form before being sold to PSG at a loss just one season later.
The Independent offer up some reasons for his failure to succeed at United. Di Maria and van Gaal were reportedly very different characters, with the Argentine poorly suited to the Dutchman’s style.
Di Maria also apparently never wanted to come to Old Trafford, but it was his only option once it became clear that Real Madrid no longer wanted him.
He struggled badly to settle and was not popular in the dressing room, but is now a happy and settled character once more off the back of his spell in France.
In the absence of Neymar and Cavani, di Maria’s performance will be of further importance to PSG on a night when he was always going to be scrutinised anyway due to his past connections with United.
He doubtless has a point to prove to a fanbase who didn’t ever see his best form; the energetic, dynamic, versatile player capable of driving teams forward.
United must be wary that their former flop doesn’t come back to haunt them on a night that means so much to the club – because di Maria will be ready to bite the hand that used to feed him.
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