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ESPN FC  By ESPN

Barcelona's Pedro an upgrade on Angel Di Maria for Man United - Thierry Henry

Barcelona forward Pedro will be a better signing for Manchester United than Angel Di Maria, according to Thierry Henry.

Pedro, 28, has been heavily linked with a summer move to United, with the Spain international available for a release fee of £22 million.

The Barca forward is set to stay with the Treble winners at least until after the Spanish Super Cup second leg against Sevilla on Aug. 17, as Neymar is ruled out for two weeks with mumps.

But Pedro's former Camp Nou teammate Henry told The Sun that Pedro will thrive for United boss Louis van Gaal in a way that Di Maria -- sold to Paris Saint-Germain for £44m this summer for a £15m loss -- could never do.

"Manchester United will be getting an excellent player if they can complete the signing of Pedro," Henry said.

"He was the perfect teammate for me at Barcelona because his understanding of wing play was second to none.

"No one was better at applying pressure from out wide. It is a position that is in his DNA.

"It's been drilled into him by a lifetime at the Nou Camp and why I believe he will be such an important acquisition for United.

"Louis van Gaal's teams play in a structured way. He wants his players to stick rigidly to their positions and maximise their area of the pitch.

"Angel Di Maria's game was based on running free from the right or the left. He didn't fit into Van Gaal's setup and that's why they have sold him.

"Pedro will be much more disciplined. He was more than important to Barcelona's success, even though he spent much of last season as backup for [Lionel] Messi, Neymar and [Luis] Suarez."

Angel Di Maria signed for PSG just a year after his British-record £59.7 million move to Manchester United.

Former Arsenal, Barca and New York Red Bulls forward Henry says that United must hit the ground running in their bid for the Premier League title this season, and Pedro -- along with Germany captain Bastian Schweinsteiger -- will be key to the Dutch coach's plans.

"Van Gaal knows he cannot afford to wait for all of his new signings to gel at Old Trafford," he added. "If the team don't get off to a good start, they will be out of the title race for another year.

"That is why he is signing the likes of Pedro and midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger.

"They will understand his requirements straight away and immediately do what is asked of them.

"Pedro is generous in his defending, he can score goals and give plenty of assists. He is a great professional who will do anything for the team.

"I loved him as a teammate and he can have a real positive impact on the Premier League."

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