Louis van Gaal is confident that British record signing Angel Di Maria will flourish at Manchester United.
The United boss says fans may have to wait until next season before they see the best of the former Real Madrid star.
Di Maria, 27, cost the Reds £59.7 million and has not scored in the Premier League since the first week of October, although he was out injured for over a month. On Saturday against Sunderland the Argentine winger was hooked at half time after a poor performance and replaced by Adnan Januzaj.
Van Gaal believes Di Maria should be given more time to justify such a hefty price tag while pointing out he is not the only player to have struggled at Old Trafford this year.
“The first season is always difficult,” van Gaal told reporters.
“You can say it to every player we have bought: Shaw, Blind, Herrera, Falcao and also Di Maria.
“For me it is not a big surprise, it is more a big surprise [if] he [had] adapted as quickly as possible. In the Netherlands, Spain and Germany I had the same experience with players.
“We have to give him time, not just for him but to all the other players.
“[The time frame] is dependable on the individual as there are so many different aspects of the game, of the match but also of the culture in the country.”
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