Memphis Depay’s performance for Netherlands at the weekend asked further questions why United let him go.
Depay’s slow start at United saw him sidelined and then sold to Lyon. Even at the time of his departure it seemed like a decision we would go onto regret.
Sure enough, Depay is thriving and United are desperately lacking creativity.
Could an extended loan have not been agreed instead?
The good news is United do have some say in Depay’s future.
As part of the sale, a first option agreement was negotiated with Lyon.
This is slightly different to an outright ‘buyback clause’, but means United are first in line if Depay is sold and must be notified if another club moves for the Dutchman.
What did Mourinho say?
Mourinho explained United’s position in 2017, speaking to the MEN.
He said: “He was playing well in Holland, we know the Dutch league is not the same but he was showing very good things. So I think Mr Van Gaal and Manchester United did very well to buy him.
“He didn’t succeed in his 18 months but he’s very young so I think it’s important for the club to complete control of this talent and we all wish he plays very, very well at Lyon and why not to come back because everyone here likes him.”
United’s faith in Depay has not been lost on the winger, who has spoken well of the club since his departure and appeared to enjoy returning to Manchester earlier this season when Lyon beat City.
It seems like a no-brainer to bring him back to Old Trafford.