Why Memphis Depay should get a second chance at Manchester United
Barcelona’s attempts to offload Frenkie de Jong to Manchester United have so far not worked. This is leading to them taking drastic action to get another player off their books.
The Express reported two weeks ago Barcelona were open to offers of around £20 million for Depay. Now they are willing to terminate his contract. Fabrizio Romano reports talks are ongoing to allow him to leave the club as a free agent.
This is where Manchester United’s ears should perk up. Giving Depay a second chance at Old Trafford should be a viable option – especially as a free agent.
United signed Depay in 2015 for £31 million. The move proved too much too soon and he was sold to Lyon in 2017.
Depay should get a second chance
There is a good case for Memphis Depay to get a second chance at Manchester United. His game has evolved, rather than simply being a winger, he can play as a centre-forward, and can add vital depth to United’s worryingly light attack.
WhoScored.com report that Depay has had a direct involvement (goal or assist) in 121 goals in 166 games for Lyon and Barcelona since leaving Manchester United.
His time at Barcelona can’t really be classed a failure despite the club being prepared to give up on him after just one season. They signed him on a free, and their reasons for letting him leave are not totally related to his performance.
Depay scored 12 goals in 28 La Liga games (20 of which were starts), and has fallen down the pecking order after the arrivals of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and recently Robert Lewandowski. Leaving is in his interests.
The Dutchman is a fluid player, who would mesh well with United forwards Anthony Martial, Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford.
He is also not ‘too high profile’ that his arrival would ruin Anthony Martial’s prospects in the same way Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani’s signings did. With Depay in the team, United could play the same system, and he would actually complement Martial if played alongside him, again.
He was 21 when he joined United, and now at the age of 28, Depay still has plenty left to offer. United’s forward options are desperately light if Cristiano Ronaldo leaves.
There is talk of signing Red Bull Salzburg’s Benjamin Sesko, and one option is to loan him back to the Austrian side for the season in order to conclude a deal and lower the £55 million fee being demanded [The Mail]. Depay could be a useful stop-gap.
If he did get a second chance, Depay would be grateful for the opportunity, and do everything possible to make it work, and be an absolute professional. He will feel he has unfinished business at Old Trafford, and could help soften the blow if Ronaldo is somehow moved on.
For some, the prospect of signing Depay may not be appealing based on his poor first stint. But with a month to go in the transfer window, it is near impossible to find a player of his quality, on a free transfer. He would likely contribute 20 goals, with goals and assists, and can play across the front three.