Denis Irwin believes Memphis Depay can be as dangerous for Manchester United from set-pieces as David Beckham was back in the day.
Ever since Cristiano Ronaldo left for Real Madrid in 2009, Man United haven’t had a set-piece specialist at the club but Memphis could very well step into that role.
“I think Memphis could match Becks in that sense,” Irwin told ManUtd.com.
“I saw him score a few goals last year for PSV and I think he will be a big addition to our team.
“It’s still early days yet, but there’s no doubt that he has a lot of talent. He brings that unpredictability and we don’t possess too many players like that.
“His records will tell you that, even though he’s young, he’s a goalscorer as well, having scored 28 goals last year in Holland. We’ve already seen how good he is at finishing, so I think he’ll become a big player for us even though he’s young.”
No player scored more free-kicks in Europe’s top five leagues than Memphis last season and it’s a testament to his quality from a dead ball situation.
That only comes through practice and Memphis isn’t shy of hard work on the training ground as his old club PSV showed by naming the gym after him as well as having all of his personal bests near the machines as the benchmark for youngsters to reach.
Both Beckham and Ronaldo became masters of their trades from nothing more than endless hours on the training ground and if Memphis is to follow in their footsteps, he’ll have to do the same thing but he looks completely ready for that.
It was fantastic when United had the likes of Beckham or Ronaldo standing over a free-kick because you didn’t hope something was going to come from it, you expected it. That’s the high standards they set themselves and that’s the level Memphis will be looking to reach this season.