Memphis Depay has made headlines lately after putting on some phenomenal shows with Lyon and the Dutch national team. This has wowed many Manchester United fans when they responded and asked the board to activate the buyback clause for the young Dutchman. I’m debating whether it’s a good idea to re-sign the forward.
Manchester United have spent around £ 30million on Memphis following their performance for PSV Eindhoven in the Eredivisie in the 2014-15 season. He scored 22 goals in 30 games and became the league’s top scorer as many pundits dubbed him “the next big thing in football”. Former Depay manager and compatriot Louis Van Gaal presented him with the iconic number 7 jersey previously worn by Eric Cantona, George Best, David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Everything didn’t quite work out for the young man United striker as he failed to meet the high expectations of the fans. In 33 Premier League games he managed a bizarre goal record of 2 goals. Club legends like Ryan Giggs and Wayne Rooney blamed his flashy lifestyle for his poor form, and Depay didn’t seem to care either.
Wayne Rooney recently joked about the Memphis lifestyle in his United days.
“Memphis? He got away at Stoke and messed up his goal so Louis Van Gaal got him to play for the reserves the next day. I said, ‘Look, it’s a little difficult (for you). Just don’t come in with all your fancy stuff. ‘
“And he came to the reserve game in his Rolls-Royce with a leather jacket and a cowboy hat. And I just thought: what’s the point?
“But Memphis is a lovely boy and it’s good to see he’s fine now.” [Manchester Evening News]
It was sold to French side Lyon by Jose Mourinho for a £ 10m loss when the Portuguese overtook the squad. And since then he’s gotten stronger and stronger. He was world class in 2018 and has been involved in 41 goals in 52 games for the club and the country, scoring 23 goals and 18 assists. Depay have forged a terrifying partnership with French winger Nabil Fekir.
The United board and fans would kick themselves for letting Depay go, but interestingly, Ed Woodward added a buyback clause to the deal and getting him back to Old Trafford may not be a bad idea.
“Memphis the Striker”
Memphis originally began his career as a left winger and played the same role until the start of the 2018/19 season. Depay was experimented as a striker after Mariano Diaz’s departure and has held up well in the center-forward role since then. He’s been the only striker for club and country every day this season and apparently made the position his own.
Current Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku has been criticized by many for poor hold-up play that resulted in the team losing the ball multiple times. The Belgian has also not played major games and was recently benched by Jose Mourinho.
One of the few promising features of Memphis is the excellent ball control it possesses. He is also a skilled and skillful player who has a ton of tricks to get past any defender. Lukaku or any striker who rules out Martial has not shown such qualities this season and Depay could be just the right man to ignite a stagnant line of strikers. In addition to finding the back of the net on a regular basis, the striker would also take on the assists and form a devastating partnership with Anthony Martial, just as he did with Fekir in Lyon.
The stylish striker is also a specialist in set pieces and has a dangerous free kick, an inch-perfect corner delivery and a cheeky Panenka penalty in his armor.
Still a real red!
Memphis seems to still have a lot of love for the Red Devils and recently posted a picture of himself wearing the iconic ‘Beckham 7’ shirt ahead of the Manchester Derby. The youngster played a major role in Lyon’s emphatic victory over Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League, which led to an interesting scrutiny of the neighbors, claiming Manchester was still red.
The Dutch international has shown some passionate and top notch performances for Lyon and the Dutch side and it would be ideal to have such a player at United.
Fans were frustrated with some boring depictions from many players who lacked either passion or skill, and Memphis could again be the perfect man to solve that problem.
For all the right reasons, Man United fans would love to bring Memphis Depay back to Old Trafford. However, Mourinho and the fans need to be warned that Memphis will be given a lot of freedom to play for Lyon and the Netherlands. One of the reasons he is successful in the role of striker is because of the freedom he has given the coach. It’s unlikely Mourinho would give him the same freedom at United.
Also, Mourinho is not known to be the best manager for taking a young footballer to the next level in his career and we don’t want any other player to be piled up in the under-performing category.
Memphis was called a “big club player with a small mindset” in his United days, and an impromptu and disciplined mindset is essential if he is to play in the Premier League or any other top division.
The new signing of the eye-catching winger turned posh striker has its own advantages and disadvantages. The downsides obviously sound scary and we hope that Mourinho will offer Depay the same freedom he has right now and not “destroy” the career of another promising young player. The advantages outweigh the disadvantages, and leaving another talent within reach could be an expensive mistake. So it is time for Jose Mourinho and Ed Woodward to activate the buyback clause to restore the Red Devil as serious title contenders.