How Red Devils’ Memphis Depay pursuit could link to past Jose Mourinho comments

Manchester United are reportedly considering a move for Barcelona forward Memphis Depay – and could have taken a similar view to that of former manager Jose Mourinho on the player.

Depay was signed by United in 2015 under the management of Louis van Gaal, with the then 21-year-old having impressed at PSV.

Indeed, United fans were excited about the prospect of watching one of Dutch football’s top young stars, with the forward having scored 28 goals in all competitions in his final season at the Eredivisie.

But things didn’t work out for him in English football. He scored seven goals in 53 appearances for the Red Devils, with just eight of those appearances coming in the first half of the 2016/17 season under Mourinho.

Depay joined Lyon in January 2017, and got his career back on track. He scored 76 goals in 178 appearances for the French club, primarily playing as a centre forward as opposed to his previous left wing role.

That earned him a move to Barcelona. However, although he has shown glimpses of quality, Depay’s performances at the end of last season were criticised by the Spanish press, and reports claim that the club are willing to sell him in January for a cut-price fee.

According to Football Insider, Newcastle and Tottenham are firmly in the race to sign the forward, who could leave for just £1.7 million.

But United are said to be interested as well, and their former boss Mourinho has already given Red Devils fans plenty of encouragement.

Jose Mourinho on Depay

Speaking to talkSPORT in 2021 (quotes via Daily Mirror), Mourinho said of Depay: “He is a really good professional. People can look at him and probably think he’s a party boy. I think he got this maturity in Lyon, which is sometimes what players need.

“Sometimes they can go too early to the big clubs, where they are not ready to cope with it. Where they are not ready to understand that, in the biggest clubs, there are internal competition, that you cannot play all the time. That there are fantastic players to fight with you for a position.

“They can lose a little sense of reality and become a bit childish, which is what happened. So when he decided to go to Lyon, it was a great move for him.”

Mourinho also described Depay as a ‘great professional’ and said he had ‘good memories’ of the player.

United fans will hope that, if the 28-year-old does move to Old Trafford, he will create more positive new memories at the club under Erik ten Hag.

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