Comparing someone who’s aged just 21 to someone as great as Cristiano Ronaldo isn’t fair, or is it? Every player that displays traits such as the 30-year-old Portuguese star, draws comparisons to him and people begin to brag and hype him all over. This tradition has been prevalent the most at Manchester United, considering Ronaldo once used to enthrall the Old Trafford faithful all week long. And anyone who ends up embracing the club is inevitable to be compared to the former United messiah, one way or another. Players like Gabriel Obertan, Nani, Antonio Valencia, Angel di Maria have all in the past been juxtaposed to him, but none succeeded as much as Ronaldo did. And the newest United player to have emerged successful in doing so is Memphis Depay.
As per latest reports, Louis van Gaal has ran out of patience and may well drop the Dutchman during United’s clash at Everton. The 25 million signing from PSV hasn’t been up to the mark in the Premier League, ever since his debut against Spurs and has scored just once, failing to assist even once. So, should the 21-year old be temporarily axed from the squad for the game at Goodison?
Depay’s biggest flaw, as far as his style of play is concerned lies in his inability to find key passes, that create chances for the players around him. I had written an article about him before he joined United on my blog and had mentioned that even at PSV, his tendency to find incisive passes did lack. So far, despite being played on the left and once as a number ten, Depay has created just 4 chances, which is nothing but abysmal to be honest.
Depay may have attempted the 2 dribbles so far, on an average, but there’s an element of monotony about them. He hugs the touchline quite often and always tends to be direct and is seen to be averse to cross or play someone in such that he scores. He himself drifts in, attempts to go past players as if he’s still at PSV such that he can score himself.
The Dutch dribbler has, again on average, attempted 2.6 shots on goal, but has found the net just once. This clarifies as to how anxious he is to find the net himself, and as a result of that doesn’t want to play passes with a team-mate for the benefit of the side. He wants to do everything for the team by himself. And for someone as young as him, that sounds a bit too ambitious.
Depay is averse to doing defensive work too, which is a quality he had during his PSV. He helped out team-mate Santiago Arias time and time again cut out dangers and drop deep. This season his work rate has dropped and he’s not the player we know from his time at the Phillips Stadion under Philip Cocu.
In Champions League games, his performance has been a tad better considering the fact that Champions League sides allow you more room to drift inside and the physical aspect isn’t paramount, or as much as it’s in the Premier League. In the Premier League, he has taken 5 shots on goal every game and has scored thrice, twice against Brugge and once against former club PSV. He has failed to register even a single assist but on the European stage, he has looked a bit better.
He needs to learn that he isn’t the only player in the team. Football is a team game and a side can succeed if only players play in a collective approach, until and unless there’s no Cristiano Ronaldo or Gareth Bale in the team, who can rescue them single-handedly. And Memphis is no way close to being either one of them.
Dropping him for one game would make sense. It seems the 21-year-old is taking his spot in the team for granted, much like Wayne Rooney. Dropping him would make him aware of the fact that he’s not the only player in the squad. That would keep him on his toes and would automatically give him a feeling that his spot in the team isn’t assured. This would improve his attitude and mentality towards the game, making him a more dedicated and determined player, in turn improving his overall performance.