Memphis Depay has become somewhat of a forgotten entity around Old Trafford this term. After arriving from Dutch club PSV Eindhoven in the summer of 2016, with great promise, the talented youngster has failed to live up to the billing and has endured an extremely difficult year and a half.
Memphis featured regularly in the early part of the season last year under former manager Louis Van Gaal, but his career never took off and by the end of the 2015-16 term arrived, he had been relegated to a bit part player and he was not even included in the squad for the FA Cup final.
This season has been much worse for the Dutchman, under new manager Jose Mourinho. Memphis has featured only 8 times for the Mancunians this term in all competitions, with only one start that came in the EFL Cup against Northampton. The last occasion that he made it to the match-day squad was on the 24th of November in the Europa League clash against Feyenoord, in which he featured for 8 minutes from the bench.
So, it hasn’t come as a surprise that he wants to depart from Old Trafford with plenty of clubs showing interest in the 22-year old. Everton seemed to be the most likely destination for Memphis, but with the Merseysiders signing Ademola Lookman in the January window, that move looks bleak. There has been reported interest from the likes of Fenerbahce and AC Milan while French team Nice had to back out from a move due to his hefty price tag.
However, Jose, who had claimed earlier that he would not stand in Memphis’ way if he wanted out, said recently that he is willing to afford some game time to the 22-year old if he decides to stay and fight it out.
So, do United sell him for a seemingly lesser price than the £27 million they paid for him and take a loss on the player? Or should they hold onto him until the end of the season and give him another chance to resurrect himself?
Memphis is an extremely talented footballer, no doubt, but he has struggled to adapt to the rigours of the English game. His attitude and passion has been a cause for much debate in the past and it seems to be the reason that he has failed to bloom at Old Trafford. The former PSV man seems to be weighed down by the huge expectations that come with playing for a world class team like Manchester United.
However, a longer run in the team and a shot of confidence in his arm could do wonders for the Dutch winger. What would be ideal for United at this time is that they send Memphis out on loan to a Premier League club, where he will get regular playing time and can prove his worth again. If the loan spell turns out to be a successful one, that will be a good news for both United and Depay. But if he fails to deliver, there is no other option but to cut their losses and sell him in the summer.
Mourinho has come out and said that he won’t be sending any players out on loan in January, but Memphis is someone who is worth taking the risk. There are not many clubs who are willing to match United’s evaluation of their wide-man and the Red Devils will anyway end up taking a loss if they do sell him in January or the upcoming summer. Instead, they can try and reignite his career by farming him out for a loan spell and get him back to his devastating best that saw him finish the 2014-15 season as the Dutch Eredivisie’s top scorer.