Jose Mourinho’s arrival at Manchester United was expected to have a drastic effect on the team’s lineup, with the Portuguese tactician supposedly set to offload many of the fringe players in the team.
Long before the Special One was announced as the new manager at Old Trafford, the future of last summer’s star signing, Memphis Depay, was anything but certain.
Having failed to live up to the expectations following his big-money arrival from PSV, Depay’s dismal performances saw him drop down to the very bottom of the pecking order under Louis Van Gaal at Manchester United, and that isn’t likely to change under Jose Mourinho.
The Dutch international failed even to make it to the bench against Leicester City in yesterday’s F.A Community Shield, and he should see that as the final nail in his United coffin. It is in Depay’s best interests to seek greener pastures elsewhere rather than wasting his talent on the sidelines with the Red Devils.
Depay had been a part of the pre-season tour this summer, though he was used sparingly, and after joining the club for around £25 million, to not even be included as a substitute for the charity shield should be of real worry to the 22-year-old.
Manchester United will be challenging on four fronts this season, and that is likely to mean that fringe players will get their only real look-in during the preliminary stages of the Europa League and League Cup. This is of course, not what a one-time golden boot winner in the Eredivisie should be settling for however.
It seems that Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata and Henrikh Mkhitaryan will be battling it out for that for the starting spot on the right wing of Mourinho’s 4-2-3-1, and Depay appears out of contention.
Primarily making cameo appearances in the 29 league games he featured in his debut season, a measly return of 2 goals was all the Netherlands international could contribute.
That tally was a far cry from his output in the Netherlands, where he registered 22 strikes in 30 Eredivisie league games; helping PSV to the title as a result.
These stats, alongside Depay’s age, show he is far from finished. Just two seasons ago, he was statistically the best set-piece taker in the whole of Europe, scoring seven times in 33 attempts, the most in all European leagues.
He definitely can regain the aggressive form that once earned him comparisons with Ronaldo and got him the number 7 shirt upon his arrival at United, but it isn’t likely to happen under Jose Mourinho.
The Special One can’t be of help to Depay in these trying times; the fans are yet to get over the rude awakening they had after his poor form last season despite all the hype that surrounded his pursuit, and the club clearly will be glad to let go of him.
It seems at this moment in time that the Dutchman is set to remain at Old Trafford as a spare part, but Depay could undoubtedly improve and build a better career elsewhere. In a bid to avoid the ignominy involved with a season in the stands, he should opt for a transfer.