Wednesday 14 September 2016

Memphis needs to shed scapegoat image and stand up and be counted

Memphis Depay has become one of the scapegoats of the Louis van Gaal era and needs a big Manchester United performance in Rotterdam.

Memphis was bound to flank his Dutch manager upon his return to PSV last year even though he had suffered an early setback in his United career two days earlier.

Memphis had been substituted in our 3-1 win over Liverpool and even seven games into the season there seemed a sense of uncertainty about the 21-year-old.

He silenced those murmurings of discontent- temporarily at least- with the opener in the Philips Stadion and looked every inch the £26.3 million man we thought we had signed.

He later fell out of favour under Van Gaal and managed only four more goals.

He has been included in the squad for the trip to the De Kuip Stadium and could make his first start of the season in Jose Mourinho's reshuffled side- and it is a chance he must grasp.

It was always going to take a monumental effort from Memphis to revive his flagging United career under Mourinho and it did not start well in July's friendly at Wigan.

He has not started since the labouring loss to Dortmund in pre-season and has made only one competitive appearance so far this season when he came on in the closing stages in the first game at Bournemouth.

Memphis rubbed some of his team mates up the wrong way with his attitude and cockiness but he was, until his FA Cup final omission, the only player to feature in all 58 matchday squads under Louis van Gaal last season.

The claim was that the United hierarchy had told Van Gaal that he must be included in the squad, regardless of form- a claim that was unsurprisingly denied.

Tom Cleverley felt that he became the scapegoat of the David Moyes 'era' and Memphis might have inherited that dishonour post-Van Gaal.

The Memphis signing is said to have been the catalyst for United's transfer strategy tweak.
We were reluctant to pay an extravagant fee for a young and unproven forward since the winger, omitted from all but one of our squads so far this season, could cost up to £31 million.

The number seven shirt is weighing heavily on Memphis young shoulders, and although he may have beefed up a bit, he needs to do as much work with the ball to potentially save his Old Trafford career.

There needs to be a reaction and he has to show what he's capable of. 

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