Three reasons why Man United must be patient with Memphis Depay
Three reasons why Manchester United must be patient with £36m signing Memphis Depay
1) Cocu says Depay will come good
Having seen Memphis Depay’s talent produce 39 league goals during their time together at PSV Eindhoven, Phillip Cocu is adamant that 21-year-old winger has what it takes to make the grade at Old Trafford. With over 100 caps for the Dutch national team to his name, Cocu played both against and alongside many great players during his career, and he sees plenty of reasons why Depay could add his name to the long list of Manchester United’s legendary number sevens.
“He will be good,” said Cocu. “Sometimes it will be difficult in the beginning, but in a few months, he will get better and better. He will bring goals and he always plays towards the goal. He also has a good vision for other players. He will always be a player who has two players on him but the rest of the team will benefit from that. He needs time to grow like any new player but he is very strong.” Depay returns to face his former club PSV in the Champions League Group B opener on Tuesday night, with his two fantastic goals in the qualifying clash with FC Brugge still fresh in the memory of the Old Trafford faithful. He may have struggled in the dour first-half of the game against Liverpool on Saturday, and been substituted at half-time, but Louis van Gaal insisted that the switch was purely a tactical decision.
2) Ronaldo took time to settle
showboating’ and ‘not enough end product’. It took him until November to register his first goal for the club; Depay has two already. With careful nurturing from Sir Alex Ferguson, Ronaldo went on to become an £80m asset and one of the greatest players in the world. The moral of the story is patience. Depay has already shown more than enough skill, finishing ability and raw pace to prove that while he may not reach Ronaldo’s almighty heights, he’s certainly not another Bebe or Gabriel Obertan. In a couple of years, the £25m Manchester United spent on the precocious winger will more likely be considered a bargain than a blunder. United fans will hope that vVan Gaal’s totalitarian management philosophy will help Depay to flourish rather than stifle his creativity. With just five Premier League games under his belt, this remains to be seen.
3) Van Gaal is currently prioritising defence over attack
United are still very much a team in transition. Last year, for the first time since the 2011/12 season, the Red Devils conceded less than a goal a game in the Premier League. They have been breached just three times in five games this term, indicating that van Gaal is getting his house in order from back to front and emphasising the importance of a solid foundation on which to build attacking flair. This means Depay may not get the freedom he was used to playing with at PSV for some while, especially with Wayne Rooney currently sidelined with a hamstring strain picked up in training. With the amount of money the club shelled out in the transfer window, United supporters are probably not enthralled at the prospect of seeing Marouane Fellaini playing upfront on his own for too long. Attack was considering the best form of defence for decades under Sir Alex but currently it’s temporarily taking a back seat.