Laurent Blanc wants Angel Di Maria to contribute more goals after the midfielder grabbed his first for Paris Saint-Germain in their 2-0 win over Malmo in the Champions League on Tuesday.
The former Manchester United forward marked his Champions League debut for his new employers by breaking the deadlock in the fourth minute of the Group A fixture.
Edinson Cavani followed that up with the second after the break but Di Maria was the main attraction in the French capital, and Blanc wants the Argentine to continue contributing decisively as he nears his physical peak.
“Di Maria is rising to the top. He arrived late to the preparation and he was injured too,” Blanc told reporters.
“I think we were right to put him to work physically and rest him. He will need it. He needs competition right now.
“He didn’t play 90 minutes but you can see his abilities in front of the goal already. This boy can bring us quality and assists but also a certain number of goals.
I talked to him about that. He told me he did not score a lot, but I think he is capable of that.”
The impressive Di Maria received a huge ovation from the PSG supporters when he was replaced by Ezequiel Lavezzi with six minutes remaining, but the 27-year-old insists he was putting the performance of the team above his own’s.
“I’m very happy with how the match went. We delivered the game we had to. The first game is always very important,” he said.
Cavani doubled PSG’s lead just after the hour, nodding home a cross from Maxwell that had been flicked on at the front post by Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who was playing against his boyhood club.
“It was very important to start with a win. We’re more relaxed now,” Cavani said. “I enjoyed the game and this season’s start because I scored and we won.”