Scouting Report: Will Memphis Depay Renew Hope in Manchester United?

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Scouting Report: Will Memphis Depay Renew Hope in Manchester United?
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Manchester United management have dismissed David Moyes despite his "hard work, honesty and integrity," per United's official website. Could signing PSV Eindhoven's Memphis Depay renew hope in United supporters?

To cover that scenario, here is a scouting report on Depay, a 20-year-old left forward. 

 

Moyes' Successor

Louis van Gaal, the Dutch national team manager, will finish his tenure after the FIFA World Cup and be succeeded by Guus Hiddink, per BBC Sport

That means Van Gaal is looking for a job in England.  

"My ambition is to coach a top team in the Premier League," Van Gaal said, per John Percy at The Telegraph. "I want to win the league title in a fourth country."

Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp has no plans to succeed Moyes, so Van Gaal has moved "into pole position for the United job," per Mark Ogden at The Telegraph.

If Van Gaal is appointed as the new permanent manager of United, it is probable the team will be Dutch influenced, as was the case in his first spell at Barcelona: Boudewijn Zenden, Frank de Boer, Michael Reiziger, Patrick Kluivert, Phillip Cocu, Ronald de Boer, Ruud Hesp and Winston Bogarde.

In that situation, United targeting Depay, a Dutch international, is a possibility.

Peter Dejong

 

Positives

Depay would be a valuable addition to United under the current circumstances.  

Ryan Giggs is the temporary manager of United, so you assume he will retire from playing at the end of the season to enter into the world of coaching. 

Ashley Young has scored twice and created a goal in 18 Premier League games this season, so management need to offload him in the summer transfer window. 

Shinji Kagawa is a No. 10, not a left-winger. 

Danny Welbeck favours a centre-forward role as opposed to being a makeshift winger and is "debating whether to move rather than accept a new deal if offered one," per BBC Sport

This leaves Depay and Adnan Januzaj challenging for the left-wing position. 

Depay generates game-changing plays with his elusiveness, speed and will to assert his authority on the match, as he proved with headline-grabbing moments against Chornomorets, NEC Nijmegen and Zulte-Waregem.

Source: PSV.TV/UEFA.com.
Source: Eredivisie.nl/ PSV.TV.
Source: PSV.TV/UEFA.com.

Most players do not score a goal of Depay's quality in an entire career, but he has done it three times this season.

From a production point of view in league play, Depay is significantly better than United's options at left wing. (The statistical analysis excludes Welbeck, who has started nine Premier League games up front.) 

League Only (Age) Goals/Games Assists Key Passes Per Game Dribbles Per Game
         
Depay (20) 11/30 6 2.6 3.1
Giggs (40) 0/11 0 0.7 0.4
Januzaj (19) 4/24 3 1.0 1.7
Kagawa (25) 0/15 2 0.9 0.7
Young (28) 2/18 1 0.8 0.5
         

Depay's technical ability is in the highest percentile, which is a sign that he can replicate his Eredivisie displays in the Premier League. 

It was genius the way he trapped the ball on his chest and then flicked it over Feyenoord right-back Daryl Janmaat, simultaneously fooling central midfielder Jordy Clasie

Source: Eredivisie.nl/PSV.TV.

Depay has a maniacal competitive streak, and it has become second nature to bounce off tackles to extend plays. 

Source: Eredivisie.nl/PSV.TV.
Source: Eredivisie.nl/ PSV.TV.

Even after suffering an eye socket injury, Depay was undeterred. 

Source: Eredivisie.nl/PSV.TV.

 

Negatives

The biggest barrier to Depay's career will be himself. 

He is prone to emotional outbursts.

Source: Eredivisie.nl/PSV.TV.

He almost deserted PSV as a youth player, per Michael Bell of Football Oranje: "Depay had reportedly ran to the train station, ready to return to Rotterdam after a row with [Henk] Fraser, but he was convinced to stay after a call from [Joost] Leenders."

When Depay was elevated into the first team, he wanted to become a rapper. 

"Depay has to choose between rap and football," then-PSV manager Fred Rutten said, per Christopher Atkins of ESPNFC.com. "You can't abandon your training duties because you have to perform at a rap concert." 

Depay's character problems are a major red flag. 

He right-hooked teammate Joshua Brenet and threw down the gauntlet at Ludogorets' Dani Abalo

Source: Eredivisie.nl/PSV.TV.
Source: PSV.TV/UEFA.com.

Depay possesses a Cristiano Ronaldo-like mentality in chasing individual accolades. 

Do you know how many shots Depay has taken to score 11 league goals? 155. That's more than Wayne Rooney (94) and Robin van Persie (57) combined (151). 

Depay has shown poor shot selection in several games, which is why his goals-to-shots ratio is flagrantly inefficient. 

Source: Squawka.com.
Source: Squawka.com.
Source: Squawka.com.
Source: Squawka.com.

Depay is a volume shooter, and he needs to be more prolific to justify his green light, a la Ronaldo. 

 

Bottom Line

If Van Gaal is tasked with rebuilding United, expect every single promising Dutch player to be linked with the club. 

Depay is one of the best prospects from the Eredivisie and can be an X-factor for United. 

While he is exceedingly gifted, he is flawed. He needs to be nurtured for his talent to be maximised. 

 

@allanjianga

Statistics via WhoScored.com

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