United have announced that they have reached an agreement to sign the 21 year-old Dutch international Memphis Depay subject to the player passing a medical. Agreement has been reached with both his current club PSV Eindhoven and the player. It is anticipated that he will sign when the summer transfer window opens in June.
Depay has been subject to much transfer speculation over the last few weeks with a number of clubs reportedly showing interest in signing the player after his club announced that he was to leave after they had clinched the Dutch title. They then gave him permission to discuss a potential move with other clubs. It is understood he had talks with Liverpool and that there was interest from Paris Saint-Germain, but most observers in Holland anticipated he would join his former national team coach Van Gaal at Old Trafford should United show serious interest.
Memphis Depay is considered by many to be one of Europe most promising young players at the moment; he is the top scorer in the Dutch Eredivsie this season having scored 21 league goals and is acknowledged as the key player in PSV first title win since 2008. Depay signed for PSV in 2006 having played his youth football at Sparta Rotterdam. He stepped up to the first team in the 2011-12 season when he made 11 appearances and scored 5 goals. He has now made 122 appearances in all competitions for PSV and has scored 49 goals. Depay has represented Holland at every level from the under-15’s to the full international side and currently has 15 caps. Louis van Gaal took the player to the World Cup last summer where he scored his 2 international goals and was named on the shortlist for the tournaments best young player.
Depay is quick, right footed he generally plays on the left and so has a tendency to cut inside as an inverted winger and this is the reason he scores the number of goals he does. Conversely he has been criticised for the low number of assists he contributes in the past although he famously provided the assist for Robin van Persie’s equaliser against Australia at the World Cup before going on to score the winner himself in that match. On occasions this season Van Gaal has bemoaned the lack of pace in United’s side; Depay will help to address that deficit with his direct running.
Alternatively to a wide role on the left he has in the past been played through the middle as a central striker although most in Holland do not consider this his best role. His current manager Phillip Cocu has likened the player to Arjen Robben and while there are similarities in his style of play United fans shouldn’t get carried away and expect too much initially. Depay is potential rather than the finished article and will need time to settle and adjust to life in the premiership. Nevertheless he will certainly be a welcome addition to our squad for next season.
If he passes his medical we say Memphis Depay, welcome to Old Trafford.