“He (Memphis Depay) has the option to leave after this season.” PSV director Toon Gerbrands.
Well, it looks like Manchester United could secure the attacking addition Louis van Gaal is craving, after his weekend comments suggested that, despite spending £150m last summer, he wants to add more goals to his side.
Although to get the ball hitting the back of the net with greater regularity makes an orthodox striker a more tempting option, a move for Depay may remedy the issues at Old Trafford right now… and here are FIVE reasons why…
Okay, goals in the Netherlands don’t always travel across the North Sea to England – just ask Middlesbrough and Chelsea who still regret Alfonso Alves and Mateja Kezman’s arrivals – but Depay has been impressive. Despite playing, primarily, from a wide position, the ‘Dutch Ronaldo’ has smashed 18 goals in the Eredvisie and Europa League, showing that he has what it takes when it comes to dispatching the ball, despite being in a position which limits his chances to drive at the net.
Few English fans – well, non-FIFA/Football manager playing supporters – knew much about Depay before last summer’s World Cup. But after the group stage had passed he was really attracting attention from Premier League supporters, who had been wowed by his showings for the Oranje. Despite being a bench player under LVG in Brazil, the wide-man notched two goals, and showed that he fits well in the now United gaffer’s set-up. Match made in heaven? Maybe…
It seems a little silly to say problems are plentiful at Old Trafford – after all the club are in the top four at the time of writing – but despite their position, the Red Devils haven’t been convincing and are often not much fun to watch. Angel di Maria aside, United seem to lack pace, which can lead to a ponderous way of playing, with Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney and Radamel Falcao not exactly speed demons.
Many supporters of the club will not want to look at Liverpool as a source of inspiration, but since Christmas the Reds have switched from a slow 4-2-3-1 with a static Mario Balotelli or Rickie Lambert up top to a fluid, pacey 3-4-2-1 led by Raheem Sterling, which has coincided with a record of eight wins, three draws and now losses.
From the funny tweets and mock-ups of United’s XI last summer upon Van Gaal’s numerous additions, it became apparent that the Dutchman’s set-up was lacking balance. Numerous left-sided players and attackers were signed, and this lack of depth and options has made the club’s system a little top-heavy, to the extent that Wayne Rooney now often plays in central midfield.
The above XI shows how much more balanced United could be with Depay in a 4-3-3.
Although he signed a new contract late last year, the fact that a move for Depay is already being talked up suggests that PSV Eindhoven will be open to business. The Eredivisie is now no longer completive with the likes of the Premier League in terms of finances, making attractive bids to a side like the Philips Stadion outfit tempting. After all, they have sold key men such as Kevin Strootman in recent times.