By Andy Hyslop
- Memphis had appeared in every game since joining United until their visit to Everton
- He has been on the bench for the last three games
Memphis arrived at Manchester United, being dubbed as the next Ronaldo. Having helped PSV win their first Dutch league title for seven years. Many expected Memphis to hit the ground running and carry on his goalscoring form of last season.
That has not been the case, as he has struggled especially in the Premier League. He has faired slightly better in the Champions League. Scoring two goals in the home qualifier against Club Brugge, and then finding the net once more as United lost 2-1 against his old team PSV in the first game of the group stages.
He has benefitted from more space in the Champions League games. Whilst in the Premier League he has struggled to adapt to having at least two men on him when he receives the ball. He was helped at the start of the season by the presence of Luke Shaw at left-back, who supported Memphis attacking positions.
Before the International break at the beginning of October, Memphis had started every league game. Since that International break Memphis has been on the bench for the last three games against Everton, CSKA Moscow and Manchester City. Only coming on against Moscow in the final minutes of the game.
Having been taken off at half-time in the 3-0 defeat to Arsenal before the International break, their had been question marks raised over the young Dutchman’s attitude.
When asked why he didn’t start him against Everton, Van Gaal stated is what down to worries over his mental state following the Dutch national teams failure to qualify for the European Championship. This may be true as compatriot Daley Blind has also joined him on the bench after starting every game up and until then.
He recently spoke to Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf about his struggles at Old Trafford:
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.
Despite his concerns, Depay maintained he is happy to be at United and is confident in his development:
I try to manage my career in steps, and I am still in the middle. I think this was the right step and I am happy in Manchester. I’m still developing.