Memphis Depay is gradually becoming a world-class striker in line with his potentials especially after he left Lyon to join FC Barcelona as a free agent earlier this summer.
Before he started enjoying the good reviews he is currently enjoying, he had the worst period of his career while he was contracted to Manchester United between July 1, 2015, and January 20, 2017.
Depay had a very bad time at the club that he managed to make just 53 appearances in two seasons and managed to score seven goals in all competitions.
Aside from scoring just seven goals in two seasons as a striker, there was an incident at Manchester United that Memphis Depay would love to forget as quickly as possible. The incident happened in 2016 during Wayne Rooney’s testimonial between Manchester United and Everton.
During the game, Memphis Depay got a long-range pass in the eighteen-yard box and decided to score an overhead kick to impress United’s supporters at Old Trafford. Unfortunately for him, the attempt failed woefully.
The ball was a little bit higher than expected and Memphis Depay shouldn’t have attempted such an acrobatic move. But he did and was shamed for it.
Even Wayne Rooney who was seated on the sideline alongside his son, Kai could not help but laugh at the failed attempt. Kai who is currently in Manchester United football academy could not also help it but had a good laugh due to the incident.
Recall that Wayne Rooney who is the all-time highest goalscorer at Manchester United has scored a couple of goals at the club via overhead kicks. Hence, the football legend knows a woeful attempt when he sees one.
Watch how Memphis Depay embarrassed himself in the name of attempting an overhead kick below:
Memphis Depay on his journey to transformation
Aside from his embarrassing attempt to impress Manchester United supporters with an overhead kick, Memphis Depay failed to establish himself under two coaches at the club – Louis van Gaal who bought him from PSV for £25 million, and Jose Mourinho.
Hence, he had no choice but to leave the Premier League club for a lesser club, Lyon, for just €16 million on January 20, 2017.
While at Lyon, the Dutch striker found a way to turn his football career around as he scored 76 goals in 178 appearances.
His improved performance attracted a couple of European heavyweights to him and later settled for FC Barcelona after refusing to renew his contract with Lyon.
While reflecting on his woeful spell at Manchester United, Memphis Depay told El Periodico that Jose Mourinho did not give him enough chance to prove himself at United in his second season at the club.
He said: “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 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 realized that I didn’t want to be in a big club without playing…
“I realized [at United] that I had to start over and show everyone that I could be one of the best.
“I had a long contract, of five years, and a good salary, but I did not feel comfortable. So I left and it was the best decision I could have made.”
Memphis Depay’s glorious start at FC Barcelona
Memphis Depay joined FC Barcelona for free at a period the club is struggling financially and just lost their talisman, Lionel Messi to Paris Saint Germain.
In his first two league games, Depay showed signs that he could be the club’s new talisman in the absence of Lionel Messi. In the first game between FC Barcelona and Real Sociedad, he provided an assist for the opening goal.
While in the second game between Barcelona and Athletic Club, Memphis Depay came to the rescue of the Spanish giants by beautifully scoring the equalizer.
Depay is expected to continue to prove that he is the new talisman at Barcelona on Sunday, August 29, 2021, against Getafe. The Spanish La Liga game will kick off at 16:00.