Manchester United winger Memphis Depay arrived from Dutch champions PSV Eindhoven in the summer for a fee of around £25million. His reputation was even bigger than his price tag.
His impressive performances over the last few seasons had made him one of the most in-demand youngsters in European football. However, he has struggled to establish himself at Old Trafford this season.
He made a decent start to his United career, but in recent weeks has not even been making Louis van Gaal’s starting line-up. United academy graduate Jesse Lingard has been keeping the Dutch star out of the team in recent matches.
This season has been a far cry from last season and a World Cup campaign that helped forge his reputation within the game.
World at his feet
Depay has built his reputation as a promising youngster in the Dutch top-flight, culminating in helping PSV win the Eredivisie title last season by scoring 22 league goals and producing five assists from his left-wing position.
In truth he was destined to move to a bigger league long before his successful campaign last season. Depay had already been linked with big moves to European giants, including Real Madrid.
The fact that he earned a move to the Premier League with Manchester United was not a major surprise to anybody who had seen the youngster perform at PSV or for his national team.
Many cynics questioned the size of Depay’s fee, but the signing was considered something of a coup for a United team in need of attacking impetus.
A questionable attitude
I am not sure whether Memphis Depay is as over-confident as he comes across, but to me he seems like he feels football owes him a living. He does not seem to work hard enough and this has led to people questioning his attitude and mental strength.
The youngster has moved quickly to dismiss suggestions that he has a poor attitude. He told Dutch media outlet NOS: “When I spoke to Danny Blind, it was a very good conversation.
“I think I’m a team player and the other players in the team also think that. I don’t think I’m in a difficult path of my career as the media talk, but I just think my form isn’t very good right now.
“I’m still working hard. Just because I don’t show the exact form that I showed at the World Cup or last year, it doesn’t mean I don’t work hard.
“Right now, I feel good again. Other people don’t see what I’m doing in training so people think I’m not busy with football but that’s not true.”
It is true that as outsiders looking in we do not know what he is doing in training. However from his body language and behaviour he comes across as guy who believes he already made it once he moved to United.
He believed his own hype and that he did not need to do much else. Unfortunately for the 21-year-old he has found the step-up to the Premier League very difficult. I do not claim to know the youngster and I may be being harsh on him, but he needs to drag himself out of his current rut.
Still time for success
I have to say having watched Depay for PSV last season I was excited to see the youngster heading for the Premier League, as I am sure many other people were. He was the sort of player that gets fans off their seats.
At just 21-years-old Depay is still a young footballer, but because of his price tag and reputation much is expected of the youngster. For the young Dutch international to be successful he needs to work hard and throw off the image of himself that he seems to have created of a big time Charlie.
Memphis Depay is no doubt a very talented footballer, but many talented players have failed to make it in the Premier League because they have not had the right mental attributes.
Hopefully for the player and the league he can get back into the United starting line-up and prove he has the right attitude. It would be a real shame for a player of such potential to leave the English top-flight without shining.
Will Memphis Depay be successful at Manchester United?