After a £30 million move from PSV Eindhoven in the summer, Memphis Depay was seen as the man to help lead Manchester United into a bright new era, and perhaps, Premier League glory. Instead, the winger has yet to really get going at OId Trafford, and he is no longer a first choice pick.
United’s big money move for Depay was always going to be a gamble. Paying anywhere near £30 million for a player from the Eredivisie, one of Europe’s weaker leagues, was always going to be a risk. There have been plenty of players in the past who have moved from the Netherlands to the Premier League and never recreated their best form.
For every Ruud van Nistelrooy or Luis Suarez, there is a Jozy Altidore or an Alfonso Alves. They were both players bought for big money fees, but never made the grade in the Premier League. Depay needs to make sure he doesn’t join the list of big money flops.
He is going about the right way to joining that list however. In the 14 Premier League matches that he has played a part in for Manchester United, they have lost five. In the four games that the 21-year-old hasn’t been involved in, the Red Devils are unbeaten. In recent matches, he has only been in the starting XI due to an injury to youngster Jesse Lingard.
Depay has scored just two league goals for United, not what you would expect from a man who plays such an attacking role on the left wing. As a winger, the Dutchman’s role is also to make goals for his team mates, but he can’t even do that. He is yet to register an assist, and has only created seven chances, which is a woeful return on United’s investment.
At times he has been more of a hindrance to his side than a helper. His hopeless back header set Glen Johnson away to set up Bojan for Stoke City on Boxing Day, a game that would end 2-0 to the Potters.
His off-field antics have also caused controversy, with rumours suggesting that he has turned up late for training on more than one occasion after being seen out late the night before. It has been suggested that he has had a talk with Ryan Giggs about his behaviour earlier this season, but that doesn’t seem to have paid off.
In all fairness to Depay, he has performed better in the Champions League, chipping in with three goals in eight games. However, with Manchester United out of the competition, this counts for nothing.
At 21, there is still time for Depay to pay back his transfer fee, but he must start doing it soon to help bring United out of their poor run of form.