Watford boss Quique Sanchez Flores
Quique Sanchez Flores managed Angel Di Maria at Benfica Getty

Angel Di Maria's former boss at Benfica, Quique Sanchez Flores, believes the Argentine will adapt easily to the Premier League and will eventually fill the gap left by Ryan Giggs on Manchester United's left flank.

Having made his name as a footballer at Valencia, Real Madrid and Real Zaragoza, Flores has also earned a big reputation as a manager in the last decade – winning the Europa League in 2009-10 with Atletico Madrid before the arrival of Diego Simeone.

Six seasons ago, before his successful spell in La Liga, Flores coached a young Di Maria and has told IBTimes UK how the new Manchester United signing can adapt to the Premier League giants.

"I met a very young Di Maria but I could already see he was going to be a special player. Maybe he then lacked a bit of organisation in his actions but he was very fast and direct," said Flores.

"I have kept a good relationship with Real Madrid [since playing there] and asked me about him [at Benfica].

"I told them that he still needed a little bit of time to develop but in a couple of years he was going to be ready to play for a top side. And so it was [Di Maria joined Real Madrid two seasons after signing for Benfica]."

Asked whether the midfielder is worth £60m, Flores said: "As a manager, I cannot value that. When a club makes an investment, they consider not only what the player can provide them on the pitch but also as a business.

"But I really believe Manchester United needed a player like him, because they didn't have one. They used to have someone like him in Giggs but not any more - a fast winger with good passing.

"But Di Maria, apart from that, has more. He has become a very complete footballer. He can also play in a central role and scores many goals.

"At the beginning he was just a winger but now is very versatile. He can adapt to any system. In [Manchester United manager Louis] van Gaal's 3-4-1-2, he can play on both flanks but also as a number 10 or up front."

Many fans have questioned Real Madrid's decision to part with one of the key players but Flores said: "I do not think Real Madrid had an absolute conviction about selling him. I think they valued him high but now clubs work like that.

"It was big money and Real Madrid are so big that they are able to do things like that, swapping James Rodriguez for Di Maria.

"But Di Maria proved to be a fundamental player for them last season and I am sure that, had he stayed, he would have been crucial again. Because I don't think any other Real Madrid player from the current squad has his special skills."

Indeed, Flores said Di Maria has proved to be a top 10 during last season.

"Apart from Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, the rest of the top 10 fluctuates but if we take into account last season – both La Liga and the World Cup - Di Maria is there."

Van Gaal has compared Di Maria with Arjen Robben and Florez believes he is indeed "that kind of player".

"Robben now has a maturity that he lacked in his time at Real Madrid. But they are similar. They can play in both flanks, they have excellent dribbling skills and are good assist-makers," he said.

Flores has no doubt about Di Maria adaptating to the Premier League. "Mentally I have no doubt. He is ready because we all consider English football a paradise. And in terms of football, I have no doubt either. He will adapt quickly. United need a player like him, not just with his skills but also with his mentality," he said.

And asked whether he can become into Manchester United's new leader, Flores said: "We have to respect each personality.

"Di Maria has the football conditions but he also has a special character. He is shy and very reserved. He does not like the publicity. He just likes to express himself on the pitch."