Updated: Saturday, 25th January 2020 @ 8:25am

Gaal-actico Di Maria eager to follow in the footsteps of Man Utd greats Cantona, Best, Ronaldo and Beckham

Gaal-actico Di Maria eager to follow in the footsteps of Man Utd greats Cantona, Best, Ronaldo and Beckham

| By Patric Ridge

Angel Di Maria has explained his desire to emulate Manchester United’s no.7 idols. 

The 26-year-old, who joined United from Spanish giants Real Madrid in a British record £59.7million move this summer, has started the season in fine form. 

Di Maria has two goals and two assists to his name so far, despite only featuring in United’s last four league games. 

“It’s an honour to wear the no.7 shirt that legends like George Best, Eric Cantona, David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo did,” he told MUTV during a visit to the official club museum at Old Trafford. 

“I hope one day to also be considered a hero for the fans, just like they are. 

"It was great to visit the museum and learn about the club’s history.”

While Di Maria and his fellow ‘Gaal-acticos’ have been making waves up top for United, defence has been the main issue for the 20-times league champions.

Youngster Tyler Blackett was a regular feature in Louis van Gaal’s side during the opening fixtures of the season, but missed last weeks victory over West Ham through suspension.

But the defender will be available when Everton visit Manchester this Sunday, although Van Gaal may face a selection headache.

Debutant Paddy McNair, 19, impressed last week, and 20-year-old Blackett knows he has a fight on his hands to secure his place.

“Obviously, I want to play in every game and I am trying to impress the manager enough to keep my place in his team,” he told ManUtd.com.

Although he admitted the competition is tough, Blackett is determined to solidify a starting berth.

“At first, I would have been happy just to gain experience by being in and around the squad,” the academy graduate continued.

“But now that I have played a few games, it is one of those situations when you are hungry for more.

“There is healthy competition among the defenders - we have banter in training and we are all pushing each other to improve.

“Marcos [Rojo] and Daley [Blind] have both come in and I think we have a good connection between us. We all want to succeed.”

Main image courtesy of Sky Sports via YouTube, with thanks.