Why Manchester United must give Memphis Depay a chance in the Europa League

Manchester United will be hoping to bounce back quickly from their derby defeat and they will have the opportunity to do so in the Europa League on Thursday against Feyenoord. There are a lot of exciting options available to Jose Mourinho and he is likely to change things up on Thursday. One player who has barely featured in the Premier League is Memphis Depay. The Dutchman arrived last summer with huge potential, but has failed to make an impact to date. The Europa League could provide him with a chance to revive his Old Trafford career.

The reasons for his struggles have been widely debated, but the overriding view is that Louis van Gaal’s plethora of tactical instructions restricted the winger. Depay went from being the main man at PSV Eindhoven to being a small fish in a big pond and the change in his role hindered him. He arrived for big money, before being asked to adapt to a new league and a major tactical change in his role. At the age of 21, it was always going to be difficult to adjust and that was the case. He quickly fell out of the first team and has already been labelled a flop by the media.

 

This is unfair, as he remains young and his potential is huge. His development has taken a hit over the last 12 months, but it can be salvaged and he could even become the first choice left winger at the club if given a chance to stake a claim. At the moment, Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial have both started on the left, while Marcus Rashford is another option, but none of them are naturals in that position. This is an advantage that Depay has over his rivals. If Mourinho can increase his confidence and add work rate to his game, the Dutch winger could make a surprising resurgence over the coming months.

For him to break into the first team, he needs to impress Mourinho in the cup competitions as that is where he is most likely to get his chance. The Europa League is going to be an unwanted distraction for the Portuguese manager this season, but it can also be looked at as an opportunity for the squad players to impress. Even if eleven changes are made on Thursday, United will still have a team good enough to challenge in the competition. For the players selected, it provides a chance that they need to take advantage of. Although Mourinho doesn’t think they are first team quality, he will give players chances if they apply themselves and perform in the Europa League.

ANTONIO CONTE WILL BE A SPURS DISASTER.

 

The opening match against Feyenoord is perfect for Memphis Depay, as he will be returning to his homeland, where he has much fonder memories. He scored on his last visit to De Kuip as a PSV player and that will give him confidence ahead of Thursday’s match. As well as being frozen out at Old Trafford, the winger has fallen out of favour at international level. A good performance on Thursday will remind Danny Blind and the KNVB of his talent, which will be an added bonus for the 22-year-old.

Despite the bad reputation of the Europa League, Manchester United need to look at the positives that it provides. They have a huge squad and it will be difficult to keep them all happy, but if Mourinho makes it clear that good performances in the Europa League will put them in his thinking for the Premier League, players will be motivated to play well on a Thursday. His attacking line-up in the league isn’t working at the moment and he has other options available to him, one of which is Memphis Depay. He has the attributes to become the first choice left winger at the club and Manchester United could regret it if they let him leave in the next 12 months. The Europa League is a great competition to bring him back into the fold and they need to take it.

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