Name: Memphis Depay
Club: PSV Eindhoven
International Caps: 9
Position: Attacking Midfield
He hasn’t had ample opportunity to impress this summer in Brazil, but the chances that Memphis Depay has been presented with, he has grabbed with both hands. Three substitute appearances have brought two goals and one assist, each time proving a game-changing selection by the new Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal. And with Louis at the helm in Manchester next season, the potential signing of Depay should be a prospect that has United fans drooling.
Depay has been a regular for PSV for the past two seasons, and it’s hard not to notice similarities with Cristiano Ronaldo in his game. Both are typically deployed from the left side of midfield, and tend to drift inside due to the fact they are both right-footed. Depay, like Ronaldo, is a direct threat on goal from 30 yards out, and he can beat numerous people with ease.
At 20 years of age, Ronaldo was starting regularly for Manchester United, but he was far from the player he is now. He wasn’t the goalscorer we see today, and his end product often took the backseat to his love of showboating. Nine goals in 50 appearances was a good return, but Depay has produced 14 goals in 43 for PSV in 2014.
Granted, the competition Depay faces in the Netherlands is inferior to the quality of Premier League and Champions League opposition, but Depay has burst onto the biggest stage and had a defining impact for his country. His effect hasn’t gone unnoticed this summer and it most certainly will have pleased van Gaal. When he’s needed a man to change a game, Depay has been one of the reliable ones.
What United lacked last season, amongst many things, was the ability to create from wide positions. When Adnan Januzaj was dropped, the predictability of their men on the flanks made them easy to counteract. Depay’s trickery, pace, and eye for goal makes him a far tougher prospect for defenders than the likes of Ashley Young or Antonia Valencia. At just 20 years old, Depay is still improving. But currently he is showing himself to have the potential to reach the very top. Comparisons to Ronaldo will always be deemed premature, but they aren’t wholly inaccurate. A move to Old Trafford will see him become a top player.
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