Memphis Depay mooted for move to Manchester United
Louis van Gaal, 5/1 to lift the Premier League with Manchester United, has reportedly made Dutch wing wizard Memphis Depay one of his top transfer targets this summer.
Depay is also apparently admired by Tottenham, who are looking to add more pace, guile and goals up front. The Netherlands-born attacker would certainly fit the bill, having scored 12 times and provided 11 assists for Eredivisie giants PSV last season.
According to rumours, if the wideman signs for United this term, he could immediately head out on loan to continue his development.
Such a move would make sense, considering that former Netherlands coach Van Gaal already knows compatriot Depay’s strengths, after blooding the exciting attacker into his Clockwork Orange squad, and giving him game time at the World Cup.
Dutchman Depay netted twice in four games in Brazil, often coming on as a substitute to provide width and blistering pace to his nation’s attack.
Buying and then loaning the PSV youth product may also provide insight into Van Gaal’s future plans for the Red Devils. The Dutch coach recently claimed his squad was “not balanced” with “four number 10s”, which is why he has chosen to experiment with a 3-4-1-2 formation.
Despite the belief that Van Gaal prefers to play with three at the back, the former Netherlands coach was forced into that tactical switch at the World Cup, following injuries to key personnel such as Kevin Strootman and Rafael van der Vaart.
Whilst Depay, having already trained under Van Gaal, will be familiar with his former international boss’s tactics, the signing would provide serious selection headaches.
Depay, 20, can play on either wing, or centrally, meaning he could compete for one of the two attacking spots up front. However, Van Gaal already has a host of versatile attacking talent at his disposal, including the likes of Adnan Januzaj, Shinji Kagawa, Juan Mata, Nani, Robin van Perise, Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck.
With the new Red Devils boss keen to give his current charges the chance to prove themselves, adding Depay into the mix this season could overcomplicate matters, and stunt the fleet-footed winger’s progress.
Any potential deal for dangerous attacker Depay would likely be made with one eye on the future, taking into account the possible departures of Javier Hernandez, Kagawa, Nani and Ashley Young.
It could also hint at an eventual move to a 4-3-3 formation, once Van Gaal has tailored the squad in his image, which would theoretically allow youngsters such as Depay, Januzaj and Wilfried Zaha more game time playing in their natural positions.
Following the additions of Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera, the potential acquisition of Depay would be a further show of strength from the Red Devils, who are odds-on at 1/2 for a top four finish.