Signing early shows that a club has a well defined plan for the upcoming season. Chelsea exercised the same when they signed Diego Costa and Cesc Fàbregas very early in 2014-15 and they both played a crucial role in the title win. This season, Manchester United was quick to sign Memphis Depay in the summer leading into the second season under Louis van Gaal. This is a warning message from United to fellow title contenders that they are in for the challenge again. So who is Memphis Depay? A quick snapshot on him would be,
- 21 year old Dutch winger
- Scored an incredible 42 goals in 62 games in the last 2 seasons across all competitions
- Dutch Eredivisie top scorer in 2014-15 with 22 goals
- Dutch footballer of the year in 2014-15 winning Johan Cryuff Trophy
1. Memphis might be the answer to United’s goals slump
Last season was Manchester United’s lowest record in 10 years in terms of goals scored per game and goal difference per game. The judgement is clear – United are not what they were. Obviously Red Devils want to put an end to the trend. Memphis Depay could be one of the pieces in the solution since he might strengthen United attack force with more firing power. What are his numbers in front of the goal?
2. Memphis has bettered goal scoring in the last 4 seasons
Manchester United’s top scorer last season, Wayne Rooney, has scored 14 goals in 37 games. Memphis Depay has scored twice as Wayne last season in 40 games. Though you can’t compare Dutch League with Premier League, what United needs is Goals and Memphis Depay seems promising to provide them goals.
3. Memphis fits United’s historical style
Manchester United is famous for their wing play. Legendary Red Devils like George Best, Ryan Giggs, Cristiano Ronaldo and David Beckham have decorated Old Trafford wings with their flair skills making fans go frenzy. Memphis plays wide and swiftly enters the middle. In the 6 seasons since CR7 left United, none of their wingers had an impressive season. If Memphis Depay settles in England and showcases his magical wing play, he could emulate these legends. That is what United fans would be praying for.
4. Memphis free kicks are lethal – statistically too!
He has scored 7 free kick goals (highest in the top 6 leagues) in 33 attempts last season. The conversion ratio of 21% is quite high in European football. Compare that with Cristiano Ronaldo (2 in 33 attempts) and Lionel Messi (2 in 37 attempts). You are getting the picture right? Old Trafford could be his best platform to raise his stature in this front. Check out his stunning 37 yard free kick goal against Heracles.
5. Memphis is both young and successful
Manchester United squad’s average age* is the lowest in 5 years in the last season. Last season’s 5 key signings – Ángel Di María (27), Ander Herrera (25), Daley Blind (25), Marcos Rojo (25) and Luke Shaw (19) – have all been less than 28 years of age (average age is 24.7 years) and have all gelled well into the first team. That is the sign of building a young, dynamic and energetic team which could dominate the league in the coming seasons. At this stage, signing a proven 21 year old young winger is a big win for the Red Devils. Let’s see how he turns out to be once Premier League 2015-16 kicks off.
* – squad’s average age is the average age of the players who have played at least 5 games in the season