Some have labelled him arrogant, others fantastic. However, most fans are agreed that Man United have signed a real gem. So what is it that makes Memphis the perfect signing for Louis van Gaal’s side?
In the post Sir Alex Ferguson era, United teams have been criticised for playing static football. A lack of pace and explosiveness has often led pundits to brand United as a boring, predictable side. The team has traditionally played through the wings but van Gaal has favoured a much more continental, possession based system this season.
The majority of United fans will be quick to point out that too much importance is placed on tradition nowadays, and I agree.
Memphis, however, offers the best of both worlds. His penetrative, pacey and aggressive style of play offers United an entirely different option to the ones they have been exploring this season. Happy to drive at defences, beat his man and take risks, the Dutch international has many facets to his game and will no doubt score goals in the Premier League.
His determination, drive and positional awareness were key as he fired PSV Eindhoven to the title this year with 22 league goals. Memphis’ ability to play clever passes also help make him such an unpredictable, intuitive player.
Another feature of Memphis’ game is his unbelievable movement. The 21-year-old plays as an inverted winger on the left of a 4-3-3 but he still manages to score from all over the pitch. Happy to interchange with other players, Memphis should offer the Old Trafford faithful the excitement that they have often been crying out for large parts of this season.
Finally, Memphis is one of the deadliest free-kick takers in Europe, having scored seven this season. United themselves have only scored two goals from direct free-kicks this term and there may well be a change in the pecking order at the club.
However, Depay is not the finished article. His decision making at times has been disappointing, with his teammates occasionally left frustrated at wasted chances. This may remind supporters of a certain Cristiano Ronaldo, who had exactly the same teething problems while learning his trade at United. While the club will be keen to avoid comparisons between the two, if Depay can become even half as good as the great Portuguese, then United have signed one hell of a player.