As the team sheets came out for the Manchester derby, there was one major exclusion in the Manchester United side. Anthony Martial was excluded from the side, despite playing in all the three previous games.
This was a big surprise seeing that Martial was the one player that could have provided United the pace and trickery in the final third of the pitch. The Frenchman did come on in the second half when his club was trailing in the game but there was another player completely missing from the 18 man squad.
Memphis Depay was nowhere to be seen and the Dutch attacker hasn’t really been even close to making it into the starting XI from last season. Louis van Gaal had dropped Memphis from the starting XI due to poor performances and when the manager was sacked by United, everyone though time is up for the attacker.
Surprisingly, Depay was not sold by Mourinho and the 22-year-old former PSV player did make an appearance this season in the Premier League against Bournemouth. We can’t really count that as a real appearance as he only played one minute but there were a lot of expectations when he made his big money move from PSV.
Depay did have a lot more confidence when he first burst onto the scene at Manchester United. We all remember how well he did in the game against Brugge but it has all gone downhill ever since. The battle for starting places at United is heating up and with Henrikh Mkhitaryan getting a start in the Manchester derby, the fight for the final attacking slot would be between Depay and Martial.
The French attacker might be ahead of the pecking order for now but if he cannot continue his form for Jose Mourinho, he will get dropped. Memphis has to be banging on the door to have a chance when the Frenchman does get dropped though.
Depay has to keep working hard in training and maybe Mourinho would give him a chance to showcase his ability in the EFL Cup or Europa League games but compared to Martial’s form and ability at the moment, Depay is not even close to the level of the former Monaco striker.
The Dutch attacker has lost all the confidence when playing on the football pitch. Even if he is more gifted with the ball at his feet, it all comes to nought when trying to perform in front of thousands at the moment. Depay is on a slide and unless it is arrested, his career at United could come to an end by January.
Martial is the player who is on the rise and that is the most important bit of the discussion. Depay isn’t close to his level at the moment to be fair and he will probably never be able to touch him, let along surpass him.