Mourinho happy to give him a second chance?
The 22-year-old has failed to impress since his £25million move from PSV Eindhoven in 2015, but does Memphis Depay still have a future at Manchester United?
Mourinho has been been speaking to Fox news and this is what he had to stay:
“I was informed by the club that there is a chance Memphis could leave. From a human point of view, I cannot stop him from leaving when he is not playing under me.
If he is staying, I would be more than happy because he is a fantastic guy and a very good player. I feel so sorry that I am not giving him opportunities to play. A player of his age needs to be playing matches. If he stays with me, for sure, he will play some games because we have so many matches.”
So there you go! Just as you think he is destined to move, Mourinho throws a bit of doubt into it all. So should he stay or go? This is the question…
Was he really worth £25 million?
When Memphis moved to United for £25 million from PSV Eindhoven in 2015 he came on the back of a season that saw him score 28 goals in 40 appearances. One of his key strengths was his free kicks. Every time he stepped up he looked like scoring. Not only was he scoring goals he was creating them too, he had the look of what many today call a “promising talent”. At only 21 years old he was being called one of the most promising talents in Europe. He had pace, quick feet, an eye for a goal and wasn’t scared to try something audacious.
France Football named him the “Best Young Player” in the world in 2015. Those who had watched him were drawing comparisons to Cristiano Ronaldo. Many top coaches and players have said he is one of the biggest talents in the game and would go on to be one of the best in the world.
Everything pointed to a player that was going to take the world by storm. Well worth the gamble to spend £25 million on a player that everyone thought would be the next best thing. If you want the best young players in today’s market then you will have to pay the premium. Being linked to every top club in Europe, Manchester United moved early to secure his signature early. Fans were excited. His shirt sales went on to be third-highest in the world only behind Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
So where did it go wrong?
After his arrival Memphis was presented the number 7 shirt. Such was the trust placed in his talent. He was eager to impress and after his debut Van Gaal said as much, unfortunately he said he was a bit too eager to impress and was trying too do much too soon. While he struggled to adapt to the Premier League, Memphis soon found his feet in Europe. Assisting and scoring in the Champions League fans were beginning to see why there was so much fuss being made about him.
Unfortunately that’s where it ended. Memphis often spoke about struggling to adapt to the English game. In his one interview he said; “There are a lot of games in Manchester. There are very few rest days and on training days you are mainly concerned with recovering. It’s heavy, two games a week, always at a high level, and my body has to get used to that.”
There were a lot of glimpses of his talent from one game to the next, but Memphis failed to kick on. Often taking the wrong option and struggling to adapt to Van Gaal’s rigid system. He saw his playing time decrease from week to week and finished the season 45 appearances and 7 goals, most of these from the bench. A few people would point out that all of United’s players struggled under Van Gaal and particularly creative players struggled the most. With very little room for error and creativity limited, this was no the best environment for Memphis.
We all know what happened next. Van Gaal left and Mourinho arrived. A chance to impress!
Alas it was not to be.
Will he stay or go?
Memphis continued to struggle for game time and his attitude seemed to make a turn for the worse for it. After several public misdoings he wasn’t even making the bench. A loan moved looked certain come January until Mourinho came out and categorically stated there would be no loan move for him. This season he has only made 7 appearances and everything looks to be pointing to him leaving the club. Several clubs around Europe have made inquiries, many believing there is a very talented player waiting to be given the right opportunity.
So will he stay or go? Right now it looks like whether likes it or not he might be staying. Not because nobody wants him. But rather because United have priced him out of a move. It seems the Old Trafford hierarchy is tired of losing money or maybe a bit fearful of another Pogba situation. Either way they are not interested in selling him for less than £20 million it seems which is more than anyone seems to want to spend.
For the player he wants game time, something that is at a premium at United. For the club they want to not have another Pogba case on their hands. The compromise? A loan move that can’t happen for some bizarre reason.
Is he worth keeping?
When Memphis was playing earlier on in the season it was when Mourinho still hadn’t found his best team. It was a team that was struggling to find form. A team very different to the one that is currently on a 8 win streak. Every player coming into the team at the moment is looking good. The whole team is playing with confidence and there is a lot more freedom and creativity in the final third than has been seen in the last three years. If Memphis was to suddenly start playing don’t be surprised to see him playing well. Given the right environment he could be the best player on the pitch, the current team might just give him that environment.
Unfortunately what he needs is his manager to back him and give him a run of games. Something Mourinho is not going to do when he has a team full players playing well. If Memphis stays this transfer window he will have an even harder time breaking into the team, but if he was. You might just see the what all the hype was about…
So what do you think Manchester United should do with him?