“He’s our new boy on the wing, Memphis Depay…” sang Manchester United fans to the Because I Got High – Afroman tune whilst building up to their first away match of the season at Villa Park in August.
Two months on, Memphis Depay could be dropped for this Saturday’s Barclays Premier League clash at Goodison Park, according to numerous reports.
The Dutchman arrived in Manchester with high expectations following a twenty-five goal return at PSV Eindhoven last season. So far, things haven’t materialised to that extent having twice been substituted at half-time in his past six appearances for Louis van Gaal’s side.
It definitely seems as if Depay has found the pace and demand of the English game difficult thus far, having excelled in the UEFA Champions League.
His stats seem to back-up the thought that he’s currently more adept to European opposition. His UEFA Champions League stats show he’s had 1.9 shots, 0.6 dribbles and a key-pass per game more compared to his showings in the English Premier League, according to whoscored.com.
He has three goals in four European games, compared to just one in eight domestically. The cross he provided for Marouane Fellaini’s late header against Club Brugge in August is his only assist of the season – the match he scored two of his four United goals, in fact.
However, reports have emerged that exterior aspects might be hampering his game with a reported dressing-down having been given to him by United’s assistant, Ryan Giggs.
Although Louis van Gaal warned of a potential bedding-in period being required, stories of this sort were not expected so early on in his Manchester United career – despite past off-field problems.
He himself already seems quite wary of the demands asked of him when recently questioned about the difference between the English and Dutch league in leading Dutch newspaper, De Telegraaf.
He said: “There are a lot of games in Manchester. There are very few rest days and on training days you are mainly concerned with recovering.
“It’s heavy, two games a week, always at a high level, and my body has to get used to that.”
Memphis seemed to be a confident and carefree soul when he took PSV to the Eredivise title last season.
This season, he seems to have had his wings clipped.
Louis van Gaal’s reserved playing style and the increased competitive nature of the Premier League haven’t helped matters. You also wonder if he’s taken too much for granted early on in his Red Devils career.
However, a reprieve in Ashley Young’s knock might see him given another opportunity to impress this Saturday.
If he does, United fans might just be going home high on Holland’s finest.
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