As Manchester United are still preparing to start their Europa League campaign against Danish side Midtjylland on Thursday 18 February, before meeting with Shrewsbury Town in an FA Cup fifth-round clash on Monday 22 February, Memphis Depay’s current performance has been the main topic of discussion after the player has fallen out of favor as Van Gaal’s first choice.
Depay was brought in a substitute during Manchester United’s Premier League fixture against Sunderland on Saturday, that simply turned into another unconvincing performance for the Red Devils and Depay.
Memphis has gone nearly three months without a goal for the Old Trafford outfit, and fans are currently disappointed with his output.
As most football fans know, the 22-year-old forward was signed by the Red Devils after a highly successful season in the Eredivise with PSV Eindhoven where netted 22 league goals, at an average of 0.8 per 90 minutes. He also established himself as a set-piece specialist from outside of penalty spot, scoring eight free-kicks.
Besides, he was a very good forward who performed well on counter attacks by packing up the ball on the left flank, cutting inside and making great shots which earned him two goals from the penalty spot during his last season with PSV.
And when he joined United, there were great promises that the forward would carry on with his spectacular goal poaching and scoring performance.
Before his fall, Memphis was in great form when his goal as a makeshift striker at Vicarage Rod helped United top the league. Although many fans insists that the player’s performance started deteriorating after their defeat to Arsenal at the start of the Premier League campaign, Memphis was still in good form according to statistics.
United later suffered major defeats in December – to Norwich, Stoke, Bournemouth and Wolfsburg – that saw their Premier League title ambition remain doubtful and a horrible Champions League exit.
Meanwhile, Van Gaal has been blamed for misusing player after every player who arrived at the club in great form have turned out to lose their reputation and form under Van Gaal.
During the 2014 world cup, Memphis did well by scoring twice for Louis van Gaal’s Netherlands, giving a genuine impression he was great asset from the Dutch League, and United rushed to signing him before Liverpool and PSG, who were also interested in him.
It has now emerged that Memphis needs the right kind of coaching and the right application, so that United can rekindle the players spectacular form and prove a good long-term investment.
Patrick Kluivert, who was Van Gaal’s assistant during the 2014 World Cup, has moved to defend Memphis following a bad start at United and has admitted that the forward should be given more opportunities.
“Memphis is a player with huge quality and that’s not something you lose, even at times like these,” he said in an interview with FIFA’s official website.
“It’s simply a question of confidence and making the most of your opportunities. He needs time to adapt to a new city and playing style. It’s only his first year and I think he will end up being a success. He’s a great player and will be important to the Netherlands’ future.”
Memphis arrived at United playing at his preferred left-wing spot, but to accommodate formation and injuries, the forward has been out of position most times with Anthony Martial remaining as Van Gaal’s first choice for the left flank.
Only seven months into his career at Old Trafford, there is enough time for the forward to improve and Van Gaal looks ready to lead the campaign of improving the player.
Memphis was recalled back for first team football after a great performance for United’s Under-21 clash against Norwich City, where he made three assist in a 7-0 win.
With United facing a busy schedule, Depay is likely to be handed more roles in the first team.
“The game he [Memphis] played against Norwich was a good game for him. I think a lot of fans enjoyed his performance; I was there also and I watched him,” Van Gaal said, as quoted on United’s official site.
“There was a lot of criticism but you have to cope with that. For him it was a very good match as it could raise his confidence and I have seen the reaction of the fans.
“These fans are the real fans, those who look to the second team, and they were very enthusiastic. He had three assists, but all his actions were very enthusiastic and it is also good for him.”