25-year-old Memphis Depay is currently enjoying one of the best seasons of his career so far with Lyon. The centre forward has scored six goals and assisted eight in Ligue 1, as well as stepping up in both the Champions League and at international level for the Netherlands.
Once one of Europe’s most exciting prospects, it is well known that Depay failed to make it at Manchester United. But since rediscovering his old form in France, the Dutchman could be set for a move back to the top.
Memphis Depay Should Get Second Premier League Chance
Who is Memphis Depay?
Born in the Dutch town of Moordrecht in 1994, Memphis Depay began his footballing career with a local youth team, before joining the academy of Sparta Rotterdam in 2003. Depay would spend three years there before swapping one city for another, moving to PSV Eindhoven. Around this time, the attacker was attracting interested from Ajax and Feyenoord, two of the Netherlands’ other top clubs.
As a teenager, Depay rose through the youth ranks at PSV, where he developed into a clear talent. In 2011, Memphis made his official debut in a cup match against amateur side VVSB. He later made his Eredivisie debut the following year, coming on late into a game against Feyenoord. In total, the then 18-year-old played eight times in his maiden season, scoring thrice. The journey began.
Another season with the first-team followed, but his breakthrough campaign came in the 2013/14 season, scoring 14 and assisting 10 in 43 appearances. Depay had made a name for himself in his native country. In 2014/15, it only got better for the youngster. He finished the season as top scorer in the league, with 22 goals, as well as winning the title. A pacy, skilful left-winger with a brilliant ability to cross, Depay became one of Europe’s most wanted wonder kids during the summer of 2015.
Manchester United Days
Some of the continents’ richest football clubs were after Memphis, such as Arsenal, Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain. However, it was Manchester United who won the race for the Dutch prospect, signing him for a fee of around £25 million. The Old Trafford outfit had signed a player who had the potential to become a legend at the club. But as the months went on, Depay failed to live up to the hype. In his debut season in England, he scored just twice in 29 Premier League matches, assisting only once.
After a poor start to life with the Red Devils, Depay hoped to change his fortunes as a new season approached, a fresh start and an opportunity to redeem himself. But it didn’t work out that way, racking up just about 20 minutes in the Premier League, being left out of the matchday squad on most occasions. Falling out of favour, Memphis eventually left United in January 2017. He joined French side Olympique Lyonnais, in an attempt to revive his career.
Away from the spotlight, Lyon has turned out to be the perfect destination for Memphis to improve and rebuild his confidence. In France, Depay has managed to more or less emulate the way he performed before moving to Manchester. This season, the Dutchman has really shown his worth. Now adapting to the role as a centre forward, he has hit high marks for both club and country. At 25, Depay looks to have finally matured into a world-class football player.
Premier League Return Imminent
Depay has been immense at Lyon. His current form suggests that his big chance came too early in his career and that he simply wasn’t ready for it. Now would be a much better time. A great free-kick taker, Memphis averages almost three shots per game. With a knack of assisting too, he makes 3.1 key passes per game for both club and country. However, Depay’s notable weak points are when it comes to ariel duels and helping defend.
It is important to remember that the Premier League is a tougher and more demanding competition than Ligue 1, with a higher standard of football. But with Depay’s dribbling ability and eye for an important pass, he could be a huge asset to one of England’s ‘top six’ clubs. His versatility could be key as well, having played in a number of different attacking positions both this season and earlier in his career.
We’re only in April though. No concrete reports have suggested that English clubs wish to acquire the playmaker. However, as you can imagine, if Europe’s elite go onto express their interest in Depay in the next few months, he is likely going to want to make the move which could make or break his career.
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