After what can only be described as a frustrating first season at Manchester United, £25 million man Memphis Depay is keen to prove to the new boss he is ready for the new season. The former PSV winger struggled to put in the big performances under Louis van Gaal resulting in an inconsistent selection and being dropped for big games, most notably the FA Cup final. Memphis had mentioned before the difficulty he’d faced moving to Manchester and the increased workload, saying to De Telegraaf:
“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.”
Clearly, Memphis wanted to put this behind him and has posted Instagram videos of him getting into shape before the team flies out to China.
However, a spanner may have been thrown into the works with the imminent signing of Hirving Lozano. The 20-year-old Mexican hot prospect has been linked with a big move to Manchester United from Pachuca and the left-sided winger would provide direct competition with Memphis. Lozano is due to play for Mexico in the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, which would mean that his arrival would be delayed, providing the perfect opportunity for Memphis to show Mourinho what he can really do.
Memphis has shown flashes of the form he hit at PSV, mainly in the qualifying rounds and group stages of the Champions League. The games against Club Brugge stand out the most. In the first leg where not only did he score twice but also assisted for the fine goal scored by Marouane Fellaini and provided the assist to the first of three Wayne Rooney goals. Then on his return to PSV, Memphis scored the opener in fine style and played extremely well regardless of the end result. There is no doubting that he has quality, not only just on the ball but has the determination to track back even if he does make the odd mistake, versus Chelsea for example where after only being on the pitch for three minutes, gave the ball away poorly and Chelsea broke away and scored.
Regardless of last seasons ups and downs, Memphis has a great deal to prove and is keen to get the chance under Jose Mourinho and hopefully he’ll get that chance. Where he will play however is up for debate too. The arrival of Zlatan Ibrahimovic will most likely mean that Anthony Martial will play out on the left-hand side once again meaning either Memphis becomes a rotation player or he has to adapt and could see a shift out to the right-hand side where last season, United really struggled. Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard were the most used options on the right-wing and with Mata linked to Everton and Lingard being a perfect squad player but not someone with enough quality to be a full-time starter.
Memphis has to genuinely take full advantage of the opportunity he has in pre season and try to impress the new boss, otherwise the arrival of Hirving Lozano and Zlatan Ibrahimovic could spell the end of his time at Manchester United.