When Memphis Depay signed for Manchester United at the start of the 2015-16 season, many had stated that United had pulled off a coup. Widely regarded as one of the brightest spots in Dutch football, it wasn’t a question of if he would succeed at Manchester, but just how good would he be.
“I find it understandable that people can be reminded of Cristiano Ronaldo by Memphis,” said former PSV youth coach Mart van Duren. Talking about the talent, Manchester United had to stump with £25 million reportedly to capture the player. That amount might seem like peanuts in this transfer window but there were a lot of expectations from the 22-year-old.
Fast-forward a season and Depay is nowhere to be seen in United’s plans. It hasn’t been that Jose Mourinho came to the club, did not like a few players and dropped Depay. The Dutch star was already on his way down under the previous manager Louis van Gaal.
The youngster, however, can only blame himself for his downward spiral at the Premier League club. He came into the team as one of Van Gaal’s favourites but his lack of form during the closing months of last season saw him being demoted to the bench.
Anthony Martial, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard were preferred out wide and Depay would only get a few minutes here and there under his belt. His career at United started rather well as he tormented Club Brugge in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League qualifier.
Only fleeting glimpses of his ability have been displayed ever since. Inconsistency has been the biggest issue for the former PSV man. Depay was again brilliant in the home leg of the tie against FC Midtjylland but even that was not enough to kick-start his fledgeling career again at Old Trafford.
Now with Jose Mourinho in the side, there can be no respite for the Dutchman. Depay has to perform every single time he is on the pitch and that includes the training sessions. There were reports of him not giving 100% during training sessions under Van Gaal but Mourinho also will not take to this kindly.
Depay has not scored since February 2016 and that is again a major issue for a player that was brought in for his attacking ability. He has also played just one minute of football this season for the Red Devils.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan will bring a lot of quality a little less ego when compared to Depay in the Manchester United team. The new signing might have started off slow but there is a real fear that Depay could be sold off in January if he does not pick up his game.
This fear could be the catalyst for something great by Depay, should he decide to take up his chance when the United team face Feyenoord in the Europa League. It was a European game that showed his ability to the United faithful the last time around and it again could be another European night that proves Depay is not a lost cause.