It’s fair to say that after a year, Memphis Depay’s Manchester United career has failed to properly get going. The summer 2015 signing from PSV Eindhoven came to Old Trafford last year as a highly promising young talent, having scored 28 goals in 40 appearances the previous season and been an integral part of his side’s Eredivisie title win. But that impact hasn’t been properly felt at his new club, with the Dutchman scoring 7 goals in 45 appearances in his debut season for United, frequently finding himself out of the side and overlooked for harder-working colleagues.
Thursday’s defeat to Feyenoord hardly helped; Memphis wasn’t even considered in Jose Mourinho’s starting XI, despite failing to feature from the off in any of the Portuguese’s competitive fixtures so far this season. His second half substitution was particularly disappointing, given that so many fans were willing him to provide an encouraging display, and especially with United struggling, it was the perfect platform to make a statement to his manager. United fans took to twitter to show their unhappiness.
Memphis is finished. I try and support him but he doesn’t do himself any favours does he.
— scottythrill (@scottythrill) September 15, 2016
Memphis reminding all of us why Mourinho has been benching him
— Shegz Okoro (@Deen_Khalliffa) September 15, 2016
Memphis really doesn’t help himself.
— Georgie (@LieutenantSloth) September 15, 2016
Don’t get me started on Memphis I had high hopes for him #MUFC
— نصر الهادي (@NasrElhadi) September 15, 2016
Get Memphis off th field. We’d play better with 10 men than with him.
— Alice (@sundustsparks) September 15, 2016
Unfortunately, as we’ve seen far too often, Memphis struggled to make an impact, didn’t cope with the pace of the game around him and frequently made poor decisions when on the ball. He wasn’t alone in failing to distinguish himself last night; Matteo Darmian, Marcos Rojo and Ashley Young all failed to make an impression after being handed their first start of this season, but Memphis still has so much more to offer, and more promise.
The frustrating thing when it comes to the 22-year old is that whilst his stand-out moments may not be high in number, they’re encouraging enough to suggest that if he can find a way of producing consistently, then he could be a part of what Mourinho is trying to build with this team. In United’s meetings with FC Club Brugge and Midtjylland in Europe last season, Memphis was destructive, strong, potent and dangerous, with his performance in the second leg Europa League meeting with the former team described by Louis van Gaal as a ‘turning point’ for the player. Unfortunately, it seems as if the former United manager spoke too quickly, in this instance.
Given that this was Memphis’ first start of this season, it’s perhaps wise to suggest that all is not lost for the Dutchman when it comes to his career at this club, because that isn’t the case. A few good performances here and there, and Mourinho will take notice. But Memphis has to be the one to make that happen, and after Thursday night’s display, he should be keenly aware of making a mark against Northampton Town in the EFL Cup next Wednesday.