Memphis Depay struggled to shine at Manchester United because the move came too soon for him in his career, his former Holland U21s coach has claimed.
Memphis Depay flopped at United after moving to Old Trafford from PSV for £25million in 2015, with Jose Mourinho sanctioning his sale to Lyon in 2016 for a fee of £16million, potentially rising to £21million, after a return of only six goals and seven assists in 53 appearances.
Depay’s struggles at Old Trafford look all the more baffling to some given his form since moving to Ligue 1, having claimed five goals and five assists in just 13 games for Lyon so far this season.
And the player enhanced his reputation with a starring role for Holland as they beat France 2-0 on Friday; the Dutch winger emphasising his new-found confidence by scoring from the penalty spot with a Panenka.
Now the 24-year-old’s former coach at Holland Under-21 level, Cor Pot, suggests the move to Old Trafford simply was too much too soon for the player.
Speaking to Voetbalprimeur, Pot said: “I found Memphis especially a very positive boy.
“You already saw that it was a very great talent, maybe he went to Manchester United a bit too early, and that was all too fast. He was just a basic player in Eindhoven, Lyon was a good step for Memphis. It’s fantastic now.
“He keeps on developing himself – not only as a player, but also as a person – Memphis gets a bit calmer, does not do any crazy things anymore, but at the time he was a bit shy.
“Of course you had that fuss with that extravagant behaviour. That seems a bit over now, I think he’s doing fine.”
United retained a buy-back option on Depay which, on current form, the club may well look to exploit.