A year in football can be a very long time. The career of Memphis Depay is a prime example of this as this time last year the highly-rated winger was being hailed as the new focal point of Louis van Gaal’s United side.
This was back when United fans still spoke glowingly of Van Gaal’s ‘philosophy’ and before it became a punchline for rival fans to mock them with.
Now, just a year on, Depay looks set to be flogged at a cut-rate price to AC Milan as soon as next January, according to the Mirror.
It would probably be best for all parties to admit that this move has not worked out and let the Dutchman leave for pastures new.
Still only 22, Depay looks the epitome of a player bereft of confidence after a very disappointing first season in which he only scored twice in 29 Premier League appearances. It must be noted that a player who relies on invention and trickery in the way in which Depay does was always likely to struggle in the stifled, methodical, possession-based style of Van Gaal, even on the rare occasions where it worked for the rest of the team.
One can draw a parallel with Argentine playmaker Angel Di Maria who also only lasted a solitary season before being jettisoned to PSG. No one can doubt that he remains a player of supreme talent given his accomplishments at Real Madrid, where he was Man of the Match in their historic ‘La Decima’ Champions League final win as well as his success now in France. So Depay can take solace in that as he tries to reignite his career elsewhere.
For United fans, however, he is likely to be remembered as nothing more than a disappointment who was quickly overtaken by a younger signing in Anthony Martial as well as one of the strongest ties to the by-now poisonous Van Gaal era.
Vincent Whelan, Pundit Arena