Manchester United midfielder Angel Di Maria has drawn strong criticism from Jamie Redknapp in the wake of Saturday's disappointing 2-1 defeat to Swansea, with the former Liverpool player and television pundit claiming that one of last summer's most expensive signings has been 'nowhere near good enough' during his early months at Old Trafford.
Argentina international Di Maria was one of European football's most celebrated talents last season. Indeed, the 27-year-old was instrumental in Real Madrid's successful quest for a 10th European crown, earning deserved plaudits from across the continent for his superb display during the 4-1 demolition of rivals Atletico in the 2014 Champions League final.
Despite such stellar form, the former Benfica star was shockingly deemed surplus to requirements at the Santiago Bernabeu following the arrival of James Rodriguez.
Manchester United, keen to restore their lofty reputation after a truly dreadful campaign under the management of David Moyes, swooped to complete a deal for a British record fee of £59.7m.
However, although Di Maria impressed with his early performances in the Premier League, his form has dipped alarmingly in recent months and the ineffective nature of his display at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday will have done nothing to alleviate the fears of those who believe the player is struggling to cope with the gruelling physical demands associated with English football.
"When Angel di Maria arrived at Man United, we all thought: 'Wow, what an addition to the Premier League!' Now he looks like he's not interested," Redknapp wrote in his latest column for the Daily Mail.
"At the start of the season, di Maria was gliding across the field, but at the moment he looks weak and sluggish. We all know what he is capable of and the United fans deserve better. It doesn't help when your manager over-complicates things, but Di Maria has been nowhere near good enough for a player who cost so much. His form has dipped dramatically, as our table shows, and if he doesn't improve there will be some serious stick coming his way.
"There is not a player in the world who doesn't go through a bad patch but we all want to see more from him. I certainly hope his dip doesn't suggest he will be angling for pastures new in the summer."
Di Maria has made 22 appearances for Manchester United in all competitions so far this season, notching four goals and registering eight assists as Louis van Gaal's side seek to return to the Champions League following a one-year absence.
While not having performed particularly well for any consistent stretch during the Dutchman's short tenure to date, the defeat to Swansea was Manchester United's first since 11 January and only their second in the top-flight since November.
They will have a chance to atone for that disappointing result with the visit of Gus Poyet's lowly Sunderland next Saturday before a trip to Newcastle is followed by an intriguing FA Cup quarter-final clash against rivals Arsenal on March 9.