Sunday 1 May 2016

Memphis should be cut some slack and given another season

Memphis Depay signed for United last summer for £31 million but has since failed to make any real impact at the club with just two goals in 15 starts.

The reason for the 22-year-old's underwhelming season is not entirely his fault- Louis van Gaal has failed to show faith in him.

He has not benefited from United's cautious style of play but although Van Gaal has changed things around in recent weeks and placed more  emphasis on attack, it's come too late for the Dutch winger.

However, the club and the fans need to give Memphis time to settle, and Van Gaal needs to put his trust and belief in him.
Selling the youngster after only one season will not do anyone any good and will also cause other young imports to think twice about joining United.

It's normal for a young player- particularly foreign ones- to adjust to life in the Premier League.

In September, United fans knew a lot about Memphis but very little about a 19-year-old Frenchman named Anthony Martial.
Yet Martial has shone since his debut- but, if it hadn't been for that explosive impact against Liverpool, maybe he would have suffered the same fate as Depay.

There are a number of reasons why Martial has flourished but Memphis struggled.

Introducing Depay straight into the starting line-up was a bad move: Van Gaal should gradually have eased him in from the bench and Ashley Young- one of our best players last year- should have continued.

Giving Memphis the number seven shirt- worn by many of this club's greatest ever players- may have added unnecessary pressure on Depay's young shoulders.

This was the wrong choice and perhaps the Dutchman should have been given the chance to earn it.

Antonio Valencia was given the iconic number in the past but couldn't handle the pressure week in week out and instead reverted back to his number 25.

Angel Di Maria also struggled in the number seven shirt in his ill-fated single season at United.

Erik Lamela and Willian moved the Premier League for huge fees and both failed to live up to expectation but have become vital.

We can only hope the same happens with Memphis.

Two of his best performances came against FC Midtjylland in a 5-1 win and then the 3-2 win over Arsenal, with the young Dutchman showing glimpses of what he's capable of.

Since then he has only started three times which isn't enough for him to prove himself.

Eleven out of his 16 appearances have been for 20 minutes or less, is that enough for a player low on confidence?

Despite having scored 22 goals and been voted the best player in the Eredivisie last season, it's impossible for a player like Depay to work wonders in a debut season in side that cannot express themselves and are forced into a rigid and incompatible system. 

Memphis has often been made the scapegoat in a poor season but, with Jose Mourinho still believed to be on the radar, Memphis could get the chance to prove his critics wrong. 

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