Name: Memphis Depay
Club: PSV Eindhoven
Date of Birth: February 13, 1994
Place of Birth: Moordrecht, Netherlands
International: Netherlands (15 caps, 2 goals)
The World Cup has long been regarded as a dangerous tournament to judge a player’s talents on. There has often been times when a club has bought a player on the back of a great showing at the World Cup only for him to flop; Junichi Inamoto and El Hadji Diouf being perfect examples. Perhaps this is why Memphis Depay was not snapped up on the back of a brilliant World Cup with the Netherlands.
The then 20-year-old winger scored two goals and was a menace to every defence he came across as the Oranje made it to the semi-finals. Luckily for fans of PSV Eindhoven he has not only kept up his level of football this season, he has surpassed it with 27 goals in 38 appearances in all competitions to date, helping them lift the Eredivisie league title. He has arguably been the best player in the whole of the division with his direct running and ferocious shooting.
This was always expected of a player that first burst onto the scene in the 2011-12 season. Three goals in eight games was a great return for someone who was only 18 and there was massive anticipation ahead of his second full season. Sadly for Depay, he found first-team football limited due to the good form of Dries Mertens.
It wasn’t until the beginning of last season that Depay really showed what he could do. He started by scoring a beautiful goal from 35 yards out against Zulte Waregem in the Champions League and went on to score 14 goals. His direct running was his trademark and he dribbled past 93 players during the season, more than anyone else. This ultimately gained him a place in Louis van Gaal’s World Cup squad.
Van Gaal has since agreed a deal with PSV and the attacker will join United for around €30m, if he passes a medical.
Phillip Cocu is the manager of the Dutch club, and the former Netherlands international previously said: “Of course Memphis will be sold, you can’t stop that but it’s okay. It’s great you can build up a player like him, who breaks through, succeeds at PSV then leaves the club when he’s ready for a bigger step. That’s great.”
Depay has certainly moved on from his early days when he was known for causing trouble and having disciplinary issues. There are still some concerns over his decision making and he can often run himself into a cul de sac due to his head down approach. But the fact that he still has lots to improve on and is yet one of the top scorers in the division shows his vast potential.
His striking ability mirrors that of Cristiano Ronaldo and although it is foolish to predict that he will reach the level of the Portuguese maestro, he has all the tools he needs to go right to the top.
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