Memphis Depay is still a kid playing in his first season with Manchester United. It’s been a tough season for Memphis, due to a poor season, both individually and team wise, and has been especially a terrible ending to the year as he was named worst signing in the Premier League, his giveaway led directly to a Stoke City goal on Boxing day and getting criticised by Dutch footballing legend Ruud Gullit.
The problem with Memphis is the expectations were too unrealistic. He’s a super quick, loves to attack you straight on type player, similar to a Cristiano Ronaldo- whom Memphis also got the #7 shirt that Ronaldo wore upon arrival, on a team that lacks speed, creativity and pace. He was the one who was supposed to provide it for an entire team. Not fair to a player coming from a league that isn’t developing at a fast pace as it used to, the Dutch Eredivisie. The Premier League is one of the toughest leagues a player needs to adjust to. From style of play, to travel, number of games and media scrutiny.
Gullit criticize Memphis saying he needs to focus more on football and less on cars, in an interview with Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf:
“He needs to deliver. He has a lot of qualities, but to fulfil his potential he has to stay low-key in his personal life. If you don’t perform, you must not turn up in a brand new Rolls Royce and a new Hummer at the training ground.
Memphis should concentrate fully on football. It would be a shame if someone like Memphis is going to be wasted because of all this side stuff. He has to make sure they talk about the footballer Memphis. He has to accept criticism as a man and get on with his job as a footballer.
The best advice Memphis needs is to shut everyone outside of the club out. How would Gullit even know if this is true? It’s pure speculation on Ruud’s part based on a few photos he’s seen on the internet.
Cristiano Ronaldo joined a United team that already had Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes. But even he struggled in his first season. In his second season, Ronaldo was still a role player, showing signs of greatness but he truly didn’t breakout until his 3rd season at Old Trafford. He scored zero European goals in his first two seasons. Eden Hazard had a decent first season but unlike Memphis he wasn’t expected to do as much. Hazard also joined Chelsea from a more stable league then the Dutch, as he came from French ligue 1. His big breakout was in his second season. Kevin De Bruyne is a star now with Manchester City, but in his first stint in the Premier League didn’t go as well. He only played three matches for Chelsea as he couldn’t adopt. Currently, Tottenham are in 4th place in the league and one of their best players Erik Lamela is enjoying a breakout season. His first two seasons were not exactly great. In his third season, Lamela is a major reason why Tottenham are roaring near the top of the standings.
What Memphis could use, besides patience, is for United to get someone else with speed and pace in the lineup. Some rumours of Felipe Anderson, but someone like him, to get the pressure off Memphis. He can’t be a player who differs so much from his teammates. He can’t be a primary ball carrier when you want to go up-tempo. It’s easy to figure him out and that builds frustration.
It hasn’t been a good season for Memphis, but he has shown many flashes of brilliance so far this season to suggest he will still live up to that #7 shirt.