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“The best decision”: Barcelona star opens up on why he left Man United

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Manchester United are interested in re-signing Memphis Depay from FC Barcelona.

Memphis Depay reveals why he left Manchester United after Jose Mourinho’s arrival

Speaking to El Periodico (h/t Daily Mail), Barcelona forward Memphis Depay has opened up on why he left Manchester United during the winter transfer window of 2017.

Depay signed for Manchester United from boyhood club PSV Eindhoven in the summer of 2015. The Dutch attacker had a difficult initiation period under then-manager Louis van Gaal. Things only worsened for him after his compatriot was replaced by Jose Mourinho at the helm a year later.

Depay was hardly used by the Portuguese tactician and when he did step out on the pitch, the Netherlands international wasn’t always able to make the most of his chances. Eventually, things reached a stage where the 27-year-old decided to call time and left for Olympique Lyon in January 2017.

After he left for France, Depay was able to build his career back up, as he became one of the top forwards in Ligue 1 and also went on to captain Lyon, before sealing a free transfer to La Liga giants Barcelona earlier this summer.

Memphis Depay had a difficult time at Manchester United
Memphis Depay had a difficult time at Manchester United

Depay opens up on Manchester United struggles

Reflecting on his time at Manchester United now, Depay has admitted that his confidence was low after a difficult period adjusting to his new surroundings.

“The first season I had to adapt and it didn’t go well compared to my time at PSV. I lost a bit of confidence and I lost the confidence of [Louis] Van Gaal and his staff. It was hard for me.”

Depay then revealed that Mourinho never considered him for selection, so much so that even some of his teammates were left befuddled as to why he was not playing regularly.

“Jose Mourinho came and I fought to get into the team but I think the idea of giving me a chance was never in his head. He never gave me an opportunity. Never. I went to his office but it changed nothing. It was a very difficult period, I felt that I was training well and the players themselves did not understand it.

Jose Mourinho at blame for Depay's exit?
Jose Mourinho at blame for Depay’s exit?

“[Paul] Pogba and Zlatan [Ibrahimovic] told me: ‘Why don’t you ever play?’ For me that was the confirmation that I had no chance. And I realised that I didn’t want to be in a big club without playing.”

New start

Depay admits that after his ordeal, he realised it was time for him to make a fresh start and claims that leaving Manchester United was the best decision he made.

“I realised [at United] that I had to start over and show everyone that I could be one of the best. I had a long contract, of five years, and a good salary, but I did not feel comfortable. So I left and it was the best decision I could have made.”

Depay thrived after signing for Olympique Lyon
Depay thrived after signing for Olympique Lyon

More Manchester United News

Depay signed for Barcelona this summer and has made an impressive start to life in Catalonia. Clearly a player with immense talent, things just did not work out for him at Old Trafford. Nonetheless, it is good to see him thriving again.