Reports say that Memphis Depay could be on his way back to Old Trafford to play for Manchester United. The Dutch international player joined the club during the summer transfer window of 2015, but he was moved on after just 18 months. But the player has changed since then, and he showed his maturity by ending his fight with Louis van Gaal. This time, the Red Devils would be getting a totally different version of the 28-year-old player.
When Manchester United bought Depay from PSV Eindhoven in the summer of 2015, the forward had already shown a lot of promise by scoring 22 goals in his last 30 Eredivisie games.
But even though he started off well at Old Trafford by scoring twice against Club Brugge in a Champions League qualifier, he never lived up to expectations while he was here.
Depay has said before that he thinks Van Gaal is to blame for his failed time at United. In 2019, he said, “It was very frustrating that I couldn’t do as well as I usually do.
“It took longer than I thought to get used to the new way of playing defense, and I soon had trouble with it. On the field, I didn’t have a lot of freedom.
“If you do that, you limit my best traits. At PSV, I was free to try to find offensive spaces and go with my gut.
“In the meantime, I knew that staying on the left side of the field and running back and forth was not the best way to play.
“I didn’t get it. You bought me because you liked the way I played for PSV and the Dutch national team?”
“After that, you put me in a part where I can’t play that way anymore. “That made no sense to me.”
Depay also said that same year that Van Gaal didn’t like it when he trained extra with Ryan Giggs at United to live up to the hype.
In his autobiography, “Heart of a Lion,” he wrote, “After a while, Van Gaal asked me to come to his office.”
“He said that there was nothing wrong with my left foot and that the extra training with Giggs was a waste of time. He also told me that it was all in my head.
“That made me think. What could be wrong with trying to improve as a player with the help of a former top winger like Ryan Giggs?
“Always more” Van Gaal made me feel like I couldn’t do anything good.
“Later, Van Gaal told me I needed to talk with a mental coach that he knew.
“I said I wanted to think about it, and that was my answer. Still, I was sure I would do well at United once I got used to the higher level of football and my new life in England.
“Later, Van Gaal kept telling me I needed to talk to that mental coach. He told me that it would help me pay attention and concentrate.
“But I didn’t want to talk to a stranger, especially since I’d had my own mental coach since I was 12 years old.
“Van Gaal didn’t talk to me for a long time after my third refusal to talk to that mental coach. When you don’t do what he says, I think he’s done with you.
“He kept putting me on the bench, and at the end of the season he told me that next year would be even harder for me because United was going to buy new strikers.
“He even put me in the stands before the last game of the season, which was the FA Cup final against Crystal Palace. Like a teacher does to a bad student at school.”
But Depay and Van Gaal are getting along better now.
And after helping the Netherlands qualify for the World Cup in Qatar, they get along better than ever.
Since Van Gaal took over as the coach of his country in August of last year, Depay has become a key player, just like he was when Ronald Koeman was in charge.
In September of last year, he scored twice in a 4-0 win over Montenegro and then scored three times in a 6-1 win over Turkey.
In October and November, Depay scored five goals in games against Gibraltar, Montenegro, and Norway.
In March, he scored a goal that helped his team beat Denmark 4–2. Depay scored four goals in three games in June, against teams like Belgium, Poland, and Wales.
He has been able to put his differences with other people aside for the sake of his country. This has helped him become one of the most dangerous international football players in the world.
So, if he does go back to United, it’s clear that they’d be getting a much more experienced player than the one they had before.
And that means he might be the perfect player to buy, especially since he might only cost £8 million.
In football today, that makes him a good deal. And Depay seems like he would fit right in with players like Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford because of his speed, tricks, and directness.