Joining Manchester United as a 21 year old with the no 7 Jersey on your back is not what a lot of players can boast of. The famous jersey number at the Theatre of Dreams has been worn by players of high repute like George Best, Eric Cantona, David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo. In the summer of 2015, the club signed Memphis Depay, who was the toast of the Dutch League. Alongside players like Jeffrey Bruma, Georginio Wijnaldum, they won the league ahead of a more fancied Ajax team. Depay was the star attraction, constantly bamboozling defenders and making a name for himself. He got signed by Louis Van Gaal, who was impressed with him at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Depay slowly started the tournament, but grew in stature as the Netherlands claimed third place.
After scoring 28 goals in 40 appearances in the 2014/15 season, he was signed by Manchester United for £25m, as the club were seeking to reestablish themselves as superpowers in the European scene. For a player compared to Ronaldo and Arjen Robben, he cut the figure of a player who felt confident about his abilities. He strutted into the pitch with undiluted swagger, and came into training with series upon series of different flamboyant cars. There were criticisms of his lifestyle on social media, as his countrymen felt he was not entirely focused on his football career. He became stifled under LVG, as the Dutch coach expected his players to play in a predetermined way, without displaying much of their creative abilities. That was where the problem started from, and with the emergence of Anthony Martial, it meant spotlight was being taken from him, a situation he wasn’t accustomed to.
This season was supposed to be a redemption for him. Critics felt he should have acclimatized to the football in England, and with Jose Mourinho in town, he should get his chance. The Portuguese had built a reputation for improving wingers, which the likes of Robben, Duff, Di Maria, Ozil, Hazard and William could all testify. Yet, it hasn’t worked out,and Memphis has even found himself more on the bench than ever before. Everton are rumored to be interested, yet, all Memphis needs around him is belief. He thrives when he is loved, and given room to do whatever he wants on the pitch, reminiscent of Ronaldo.
Selling Memphis would be bad for United. He scored twice in the recent international weekend, displaying some of the quality that made him so highly rated. A loan spell may be good to regain his confidence, but a permanent move may come back to haunt the Red Devils. After all, pigs do fly, in the sarcastic voice of Joe Hart.