It used to be a sense of pride for Manchester United fans to be different than the big spenders in Europe. Now? Even Louis van Gaal can’t stop the change, as the teams signs Angel di Maria for an incredible sum, hoping that it’ll be the move to take them out of their year-long slump.

Yes, this isn’t just one point in two matches in 2014-2015, without European Football. This is a year and a bit more removed from Alex Ferguson retiring, leaving the club at the uncapable hands of Ed Woodward and David Moyes. Van Gaal has come in to salvage the wreckage, but it’s going to take a long, painful and patience-demanding process.

Real Madrid are selling Angel di Maria a year after letting go of Mesut Ozil. Financially this makes sense, but haven’t Real Madrid always operated on other principles, especially during the Florentino Perez era? It’s about having the best players in the world, which Di Maria obviously is. From a professional stand point, selling him doesn’t make sense.

Di Maria is brought in as some sort of savior, and another expensive signing after Manchester United already have Rooney, Mata and Van Persie. Van Gaal has talked more than once about a squad without any balance. Bringing in the talented Argentine winger isn’t going to help with that problem, so it might need even more spending to put Manchester United back on the right track, which means making the Champions League if not more.

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