Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink believes Memphis Depay has struggled to make an impact at Manchester United due to the weight of expectation on him as one of the Netherlands’ biggest prospects.
Depay arrived at United in a big-money move from PSV in the close-season, but has yet to show the type of form that saw him score 22 goals in last season’s Eredivisie title win.
The forward has scored just twice in 14 Premier League appearances, and his woeful attempted header back to David de Gea gifted Stoke City their first in a 2-0 win over out-of-form United on Boxing Day.
Depay will come up against his former Netherlands coach Hiddink when United face Chelsea at Old Trafford on Monday.
“He’s a very young guy,” Hiddink said. “When he was in Holland he was one of the star players at a very young age, because there is a lack of star players who are playing already many years in their league.
“So at a young age, he was bombarded as one of big talents. Of course, he has this talent, but he is also having to confront the demands of the Premier League, which are much higher in the intensity of the game during 90 minutes.
“That’s an experience that all players, not just him, have to overcome. I think they need time for that.
“Because, in principle he has this talent, but he is also giving interview saying ‘I have to get used to another way of playing, the intensity of the games every three days.’
“Those guys need the cover of experienced players.”
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