Memphis Depay is far from the player that flopped at Manchester United, and the new Barcelona signing has now broken a record for the Netherlands national team
Barcelona forward Memphis Depay has set a new record for the Netherlands as he continues to impress despite flopping at Manchester United.
Depay is best known by Premier League fans for his nightmare spell at Old Trafford where he failed to impress in an 18-month spell.
However, the 27-year-old has managed to rejuvenate his career, and is now breaking records set by legends of the game for his national team.
Depay netted in the 6-1 thrashing of Turkey, leaving the Netherlands top of Group G in World Cup qualifying.
And in doing so the new Barcelona recruit equalled a record set by Patrick Kluivert for goals scored in a calendar year for the Dutch national team.
MAURICE VAN STEEN/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)
Depay has netted 12 times in 2021 for the Oranje, a quite incredible record Kluivert achieved in 2000 as he scored five times at that summer’s home European Championships.
Depay also levelled the great Johan Cruyff on the all-time top goalscorers list for the Netherlands.
The 27-year-old’s tally now stands at 33, and he is just two behind Ruud van Nistelrooy, but Robin van Persie still leads the way on 50 ahead of Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Kluivert, respectively.
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Depay joined Barcelona over the summer on a free transfer after he chose to run his contract down at Lyon.
But despite now being arguably one of the biggest strikers on the planet, his time at United is far from forgotten.
The Red Devils sold Depay to Lyon for £17m in 2017, but included a clause that allowed them to buy him back.
However, despite his massive pick up in form and attention, United never looked to explore the option of a return for Depay.
Reflecting on his disappointing time at United, he told El Periodico: “I’ve thought a lot about why it went wrong. The first season I had to adapt and it didn’t go well compared to my time at PSV.
“I lost a bit of confidence and I lost the confidence of [Louis] Van Gaal and his staff. It was hard for me. The following season I felt like I had more experience, but they changed the coach.
“Jose Mourinho came and I fought to get into the team but I think the idea of giving me a chance was never in his head. He never gave me an opportunity. Never.
“I went to his office but it changed nothing. It was a very difficult period, I felt that I was training well and the players themselves did not understand it.
“[Paul] Pogba and Zlatan [Ibrahimovic] told me: ‘Why don’t you ever play?’
“For me that was the confirmation that I had no chance. And I realised that I didn’t want to be in a big club without playing.”