The Dutchman arrived at Old Trafford in May 2015 and, following a few moments of early brilliance, quickly became a blunt instrument on the left hand side and was ultimately left out of the Man United match-day squad for the FA Cup final.
And he duly fell down the pecking order under Mourinho, receiving only 20 minutes of Premier League action before moving to Lyon for around £21m in January.
Speaking to L’Equipe, the 23-year-old noted that, while his first season wasn’t good enough, he deserved a chance to impress under the Portuguese.
“In the first season, I didn’t contribute enough,” he said. “But I really believe you need a year to succeed in the Premier League, it’s the fastest league in the world. The second, I had my self-belief back, but I didn’t play.
“It’s then that you look at yourself in the mirror and you ask yourself a lot of questions: ‘Am I not good enough?’ It was really tough. To stay positive, you have to be very strong mentally. That experience made me grow up and is useful to me today.”
Marouane Fellaini‘s constant presence in the side since Mourinho’s arrival, alongside the Portuguese’s admiration for Ashley Young, underlines once clear thing: that the boss rewards hard work with minutes on the pitch.
And I will leave you to put the pieces together when it comes to Memphis’ failure to make even a single Premier League start in four and a half months under Mourinho.
He is a fantastic talent, make no mistake, but never once did he really demonstrate the grittiness needed to thrive in the Premier League.