5 Things to Expect from Memphis Depay at Manchester United
Memphis Depay is set to complete a £25million move to Old Trafford when the transfer window opens.
Here are five things that Manchester United fans can expect from the Dutch winger.
His blisteringly quick acceleration and pace provides Manchester United with what they've been lacking, a fast winger who can hit the opposition on the break. Since the not-so-long-ago days of Ferguson, United have lacked pace upfront and Depay could be the player to obliterate rivals' defences. He's not quite as qucik as Robben or Valencia (apparently the fastest player in world football, according to a recent FIFA study) but he'd provide a faster alternative to Mata on the wing. I'm sure it won't be long before he's embarassing John Terry in the Premier League!
2. Technical Ability
When coupled with his pace, his exquisite dribbling and skill makes him one of the most talented young players in European football. Many of his goals this season have been down to him creating chances from the tightest of spaces. he is more than equipped to take on players which will put a smile on the faces of Antonio Valencia critics. Primarily a left winger cutting inside on his right, he's able to play on either side or through the middle. Depay has a very good first touch and great ball control. His passing is average and could be improved upon. He's produced outstanding performances in the Eredivisie however it remains to be seen whether he will be able to do the same against world-class opposition.
Now we come onto the main reason Van Gaal decided to purchase him, his goals. Di Maria has had a relatively poor season and he will certainly have to fight Depay for a place in the side. The top scorer in the Eredivisie the season just gone, Memphis Depay scored 22 goals in 30 appearances. For a winger that's an impressive stat. The powerful right foot he possesses enables him to shoot from practically anywhere and score. You'll find many of his wonder goals on the internet where's scored from 25-30 yards out. The dip and finesse on his shots are mouth-wateringly brilliant. Again I should stress that you could argue the Eredivisie is an inferior league in terms of player quality and it remains to be seen whether the Premier League will bring the best out of him or not. Going by the goal montages, it wouldn't surprise me if defenders were already quaking in their boots.
United's resident left-sided free-kick taker Wayne Rooney has been rather disappointing with many of his recent attempts on goal from set-piece situations. Hopefully Depay will bring a breath of fresh air with him. Memphis considers free-kick taking to be one of the more important sides to his game and takes it very seriously. Spending a lot of time improving this area, he meticulously studies the technique of Ronaldo and hopes to one day become the best player in the world. A whopping 7 of his 22 league goals this season gone have come from direct free-kicks making him the most effective in the top 6 European leagues. Compare this to Ronaldo who went on a run of more than 50 attempts which failed to find the net.
5. LVG Mentality
Van Gaal gave Depay his international debut at the age of 18 against Turkey in October 2013. The Manchester United manager is considered a father-like figure and he will certainly provide the Dutch winger with the resources and guidance to be moulded into one of the world's best. The Dutch philosophy is that of developing a footballer to not just use his feet but to also improve the mental side of their play. Louis van Gaal's idea of a total footballer is one who can read the game, make good decisions and contribute in all areas of the pitch whether that be attacking or defending. They should the team before themselves. From what he has showcased in Holland, Depay has the workrate and motivation to succeed under Van Gaal and hopefully they will form a formidable relationship which will benefit United's performances.
With a big money move comes big expectations. Van Gaal is known to favour form over price tags so it will be up to Depay to hit the ground running if he wants to stake a place in the starting 11 each week. Could he emulate his Portugese idol Cristiano Ronaldo? Watch this space.