Manchester United are a team know for bringing through young talented players. This season alone has seen Jesse Lingard, Timothy Fosu Mensah, Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, Donald Love, James Weir, Guillermo Varela and Marcus Rashford all make their mark at Old Trafford.
While having one of the most renowned academies in world football, Manchester United also sign some of the best upcoming talent players. Players like Luke Shaw, Anthony Martial and David de Gea are all young players with bright futures. Although they are not brought up the United way, they soon learn the ways of Manchester United, and are quickly embraced by the club and their fans.
This time last season, Manchester United were chasing one of the most sought after young players in the game, Memphis Depay, who reportedly turned down Liverpool and Paris St Germain for Manchester United.
Depay came to global attention at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, scoring two crucial group stage goals to seal victories over Australia and Chile. He also became the youngest scorer for the Netherlands in a World Cup, aged just 20 at the time.
He went on to claim the award for top scorer of last year’s Eredivisie season with 21 goals, although mainly playing on the wing.
While Anthony Martial has stolen all the headlines at Manchester United this season, as undoubtedly the best of last summer’s recruits, Memphis Depay has been probably the worst.
Manchester United have always been patient with young players at the club, whether through the youth system or signing for the club at a young age for ludicrous money.
In the past, Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo took to the club and what it entails from the start. However, we must remember they had Roy Keane in their side, who would be quick to keep them in check should they let the added attention and pressure of playing for Manchester United affect their game or their lifestyles.
We must remember also that it wasn’t all plain sailing for Cristiano Ronaldo at the start of his Manchester United career.
He struggled to adapt his game, and his trickery was not appreciated by his opponents. Sir Alex had the privilege of a squad at Manchester United that didn’t need to rely on Ronaldo, in turn giving him the chance to play a bit part role that led him adjust to his new surroundings both on and off the pitch.
Players like Roy Keane, Ryan Giggs, Rio Ferdinand and Gary Neville were always on hand should the youngster need advice. Memphis needs the likes of Wayne Rooney, Michael Carrick and Ryan Giggs to step up and return the helping hand they received when they arrived at the club.
The leaders at Manchester United these days are sadly lacking.
Making the move from PSV Eindhoven to Manchester United at the young age of 21 would be a huge step for any player. His exploits in the World Cup 2014 in Brazil and his outstanding season with PSV the following year earned him his move, but also raised the expectations of this new exciting kid on the block.
Having already worked under Louis Van Gaal and being handed the famous number seven shirt only added to the pressure.
While he has not performed to level we know he can and his off the field lifestyle may not be received too well by United fans, it would be a major mistake to give up on the lad after only one season in the Premier League.
Both Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford have been excellent so far in their short Manchester United careers adding to the pressure on Memphis. They too, however, will suffer bad periods in their United careers. Do we just get rid of them too when they don’t perform as we expect?
2 goals from 23 appearances is not a great start from his United career. However, he is a quality player, and he still could end the season with an FA Cup medal. This might just be the turning point both he and Manchester United need to get back to the level they should be at.
He needs to change his attitude, but also he needs the help and guidance of the senior players at the club. More importantly, he needs the backing of the fans. Old Trafford is the best stage for young talent in the game.
Manchester have already lost Paul Pogba, probably the biggest mistake Sir Alex ever made at Manchester United. Selling Memphis Depay after just one season would be just as big a mistake and one the club could live to regret.