Mempis Depay looked to be one of the signings of the summer when he walked through the doors of Old Trafford on the 7th May for £25m. The Dutchman had been likened to talents such as Arjen Robben and Cristiano Ronaldo, which really got Man United fans excited about their new number 7.
However, nearly a year later, Depay has been about as effective as Luis Nani, and midway through the season was dropped for Jesse Lingard, whom has taken the opportunity and pushed himself into a regular starting berth. In a season that has seen Louis van Gaal criticised for absolutely everything, Depay has found himself drawn into the negativity, and now looks to be on his way out.
But at the age of 22, should the ex-PSV Eindhoven man be part of the clear-out at the Theatre of Dreams, or should he be given more chance to stake his claim?
With only two goals and no assists in 23 Premier League games, the figures suggest suggest that Depay should be removed sooner rather than later. Man United fans have not forgotten that their last good winger was in fact Ronaldo, and since then fellow countryman Nani, Antonio Valencia, Adnan Januzaj and Ashley Young have all tried and failed to make a consistent impact. Don’t even get supporters started on the flops such as Gabriel Obertan, Zoran Tosic, Wilfried Zaha and Bebe, all of whom had such potential but crashed and burned as quickly as they started.
It seems a bit too soon to place Depay in the same bracket as Obertan, but that is how the media are starting to view him. However, United fans have been treated to the good side of the Dutch star, with his performances on the European stage taking their breath away on a few occasions.
In the Champions League and Europa League, Depay bagged a combined three goals, and against FC Midtjylland and Liverpool, he controlled the play and produced a lot of the positive moments. For brief moments, fans saw the big price tag start to be justified and knew that with a bit more work, he could be the finished product.
Nobody disagrees with the potential of Depay, with many experts having raved about how good he could be. Since he realised he was no longer the ‘big fish in the small pond’, and started taking tips off Ryan Giggs, his play has improved. What he desperately craves is some consistency, both through playing regularly and through the team finding some collective form.
To let this youngster go would be crazy, especially considering just how talented he is. There is no doubt that in a few years, if he is sensible, he could easily be a club hero, and be a crowd favourite, like Ronaldo was. Memphis Depay is a unique player, and as soon as he settles, gets a better manager and perhaps some love, the results will show. He just needs some patience.