Manchester United winger Memphis Depay is thought to be on his way out of Old Trafford after the club agreed on a deal with Lyon that will see him leave for a fee that could rise up £21.7 million.
The Dutchman has fallen out of favour with Mourinho this season and has barely featured, playing just eight times this season. According to Sky Sports, Sky sources understand United will have a buy-back option as well as sell-on clauses inserted into the deal that takes the Netherlands international to the Ligue 1 club.
Memphis joined United after a stellar year in Holland with PSV Eindhoven, and arrived in Manchester in June 2015, for around £25 million.
It was speculated that Memphis would follow former United man Morgan Schneiderlin to the blue half of Merseyside and join up with Ronald Koeman’s Everton, but it seems as though Lyon have secured the Dutchman’s services.
There was a feeling of optimism when Memphis joined the club in 2015. Under Dutchman Louis van Gaal, who gave Memphis some first team action in the 2014 World Cup, there was a sense of this signing potentially lighting up the Premier League. And it’s not as if he haven’t seen any promise from Memphis. His performances in the Europa League and the Champions League qualifier against Club Brugge, shown glimpses of what the man is capable of.
It seems though he couldn’t adjust that ability to the Premier League, which is strange because it seems that Memphis is built for the Premier League, physically. Perhaps the slower tempo in Europe gives him more time on the ball, which suits him.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when Memphis arrived from PSV Eindhoven. As mentioned, the only time I had seen him play was the 2014 World Cup, where he looked promising. He arrived in England with a lot of hype around him and when he was handed the iconic number seven shirt, which is becoming more and more of a marketing tool, it generated a bigger buzz. There was talk of Memphis being the ‘next Cristiano Ronaldo’ which is ludicrous to think, to which I never held expectations that high or unrealistic of him. It is a bit insulting almost, to Memphis himself and to Ronaldo. Memphis will want to create his own legacy in football, and the numbers that Ronaldo (and Messi) are putting up will never be replicated again, in my opinion.
Nevertheless, Memphis had some hype surrounding him and with his own brand “M7” stitched into his supercars that he arrived at training in, he was talking the talk. But he never walked the walk.
This is where I find the comparison with Ronaldo bemusing. Cristiano arrived at Old Trafford a raw talent at 18. He worked hard to propel himself to the top of world football and 14 years later, he has numerous league titles, several Champions League medals and four Ballon d’Or trophies to his name. Ronaldo created his own brand through his work on a football pitch. Memphis arrived after scoring 28 goals for PSV Eindhoven and thought he’d made it. No doubt he was rewarded with a big move to United after a successful season, but that’s where his hard work seemed to stop. There were reports that Jose Mourinho wasn’t impressed with Memphis’ attitude and I can see why.
Don’t get me wrong, though, I would have loved to see Memphis flying down the left wing for United for the next decade. He clearly has talent as we’ve seen from him. His problem is consistency. I do hope this move works out for him, and if it does there’s every chance United will activate that buy-back clause.
As for that number seven shirt, well, another on bites the dust. Angel Di Maria, now Memphis, who next? Someone needs to claim the shirt and wear it wit pride like Becks did, or even Ronaldo to an extent. Maybe Antione Griezmann is next? Who knows.