Memphis Depay arrived at Manchester United in 2015 with high hopes on his shoulders. However, things did not work out particularly well for the Dutchman in his time at Old Trafford but is he deserving of another chance in the Premier League?
The former Manchester United man could be considered one of the biggest flops at the club. He arrived for a very large figure, £25 million, and took the famous number seven shirt. However, things did not work out as planned as he only hit two Premier League goals in his one and a half years at the club.
He was moved on to Lyon for around £16 million, possibly rising to £22 million, and he has not looked back since arriving in France. He found his mojo again and had defenders livid as he burst passed them at pace and smashed the ball past the despairing keeper on plenty of occasions. Since arriving in France he has played 133 games and scored 53 goals, which is a very good return for a winger.
He is well thought of at Lyon and recently became the captain of the Ligue 1 side. After a great start to the year with nine league goals in twelve appearances it was meant to be Depay’s year as he looked forward to the European Championships with Holland. However, disaster struck when Lyon played Rennes in December, Depay ruptured his ACL ruling him out for the season.
Depay was devastated and the setback has not come at an ideal time for him but at 25 years old, age at incident, he has time to recover and come back an even stronger player. The question is will he be on the move in the summer?
Making the move the direct move from Holland to England is a risk and rarely works out. The intensity is different and there is a real battle every league game in England. It was clear that Depay was not ready for such a big move to a more physical league.
The blip at Manchester United did hamper his career, slightly, because that was meant to be the next progressive step from PSV but some would argue the move to Lyon was a sideways step. The Premier League is considered to be the elite league and players from all over the world want to play in England. However, Depay has proved he still has what it takes to succeed at the top level by perorming on a consistent basis for Lyon in Ligue 1 and European competitions.
In no way does that disregard the importance of Lyon in European football as they are a side who consistently finish in the top four and get European Football every year. However, there is an argument that Depay has out grown them.
He moved to Manchester United as a boy and in France he has become more of a man. He has been able to channel the impish ways and focus on finding the form that put him in the same bracket as Paul Pogba and Raphael Varane in 2014.
Lyon have provided plenty of support to him and the pressure was certainly taken off him but he looks like he is ready for a return to the Premier League and certainly prove a point. He is still very much a fan of Manchester United and many supporters would like to see Depay return and fulfill his potential. With United looking for a new winger, they could possibly turn to a man they had on their books once again.