With Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney joining Anthony Martial on the treatment table ahead of this weekend‘s Premier League clash, Dutch forward Memphis Depay could be in the frame to start against Watford. Manager Louis van Gaal is short on attacking options, and has little choice but to reinstate the previously dropped winger for Saturday’s trip to Vicarage Road.
Dropped due to poor form
The 21-year-old has struggled for form since his move from PSV Eindhoven this summer, drawing criticism from Van Gaal as well as assistant manager Ryan Giggs. He’s been singled out by his manager for not fitting the philosophy or adhering to instructions, and rumours suggested his time at Old Trafford could be cut short. The young forward has missed United’s last four Premier League games, and his last start came two months ago.
Depay has scored four goals in 16 games in all competitions this season, but has struggled with decision-making in the final third, as well as his distribution. Nevertheless, he does possess qualities that could make him a good option through the middle. Boasting excessive pace and a great eye for goal, Depay will stretch the Watford backline, and will look to test the goalkeeper as much as possible. He commits defenders due to his penchant to dribble on the ball, and has operated as a centre-forward for former side PSV on a number of occasions.
Depay the best option in attack
Wayne Rooney was expected to lead the line against Watford this weekend, but has been ruled out due to an illness according to Van Gaal. Martial picked up an injury during the international break for France and was seen leaving the stadium on crutches. Without the two main strikers, Manchester United have only James Wilson as a natural choice up front, while the in-form Jesse Lingard is another makeshift option.
However, it’s hard for Van Gaal to overlook a player who scored 22 goals in 30 Eredivisie games last season as Eindhoven stormed their way to the league title. Nevertheless, Depay needs to perform. One goal scored in eight Premier League outings isn’t the type of return expected from a player signed for around £30M as a 21-year-old, but he could turn things around against Watford this weekend. Depay should have the likes of creative Spanish playmakers Juan Mata and Ander Herrera supporting him so there’s a chance the Dutchman could finally find his feet in the Premier League.
Could Louis van Gaal look to Memphis Depay to start in attack for Manchester United?