Former PSV Eindhoven striker Jeremain Lens has urged Memphis Depay not to join an elite club as he may suffer a similar fate to that of Ibrahim Afellay.
Afellay left PSV as a young player in 2011 to join Barcelona but a combination of injuries and lack of form contributed to a failed spell at the club.
He was sent out on loan to Schalke and Olympiacos but both stints ended in mediocre fashion.
Speaking about Depay and Afellay, Lens said: ”Ibi [Afellay] is a great player, who was then just as Memphis is now ready for the next step in his career.
“Ibi chose Barcelona. That is of course an offer that one can hardly ignore, but he also knew that he would not get into the team.
“Such a thing is not good for your development, no matter how you look at it.
“The fact that he did not have luck with injuries is of course terrible. But first he chose a club where he would not be more than a 12th man.
“I think Memphis definitely has the potential to play for a top ten club in Europe, but I advise him first to take an intermediate step.”
Louis van Gaal knows Depay from his time with the Dutch national team and reportedly went to watch him over the international break so he will know exactly what he is getting should United buy the youngster this summer.
The experienced manager has a long record of bringing through top talent having given players such as Xavi their senior debuts and it is unlikely that he will take a different approach when it comes to Depay. Of course, that is assuming Depay doesn’t suffer any major injuries in the future.