Former Dutch international Pierre van Hooijdonk believes “someone needs to be an a**hole” to Memphis Depay if he is to realise his potential at Manchester United.
Memphis was brought to Man United this summer with much fanfare following a blistering season at PSV Eindhoven but the player has so far struggled to make an impact at Old Trafford.
Louis van Gaal dropped Memphis to the substitute’s bench for United’s last two games against Everton and CSKA Moscow and it is unclear when he will work his way back into the starting XI.
Van Hooijdonk insisted Memphis must be told to “quit screwing around” if he is to become a success in the Premier League.
“What to do with a guy like Memphis? The national team coach knows he needs him in the future. It’s obvious that he has exceptional qualities,” van Hooijdonk wrote in his Voetbal International column.
“But he needs a type that says: Friend, act normal. Quit screwing around and start playing football. Someone needs to be an a**hole to him. It’s possible that he will turn against you if you say something about his qualities or his behaviour. Worst case: he doesn’t run for you at all.”
Perhaps fans are expecting too much, too early from Memphis. The player has clear talent but undoubtedly needs to refine his game in order to adjust to life in England. However, patience wears thin at United as their players are expected to perform in every game. It is a tricky situation for Memphis but the experience will no doubt make him a stronger player and person.