Manchester United and Tottenham target Memphis Depay, often referred to as the ‘new Cristiano Ronaldo’, has been urged to reject a move to the Premier League this season and stay with PSV past the summer by Phillip Cocu.
The Daily Express reports that the Dutch manager, who had an impressive career with Barcelona outside of the Eredivisie, has made it clear that he will warn Depay against moving abroad at this stage of his career despite the fact that the young playmaker is tipped for an extremely bright future. Depay’s performances for Holland in this summer’s World Cup have done little to stifle the interest coming from top European outfits, and Louis van Gaal is said to be keen to continue managing him when he officially begin duties at United once the tournament is over.
The 20-year-old has a burgeoning reputation as one of his nation’s most promising young footballers, and the tag he has accumulated which likens him to current Ballon d’Or holder Ronaldo means that his progress has been followed with even more interest than it otherwise would have been. A winger by trade, Depay has played nine times for the Dutch national side already, scoring two goals, and also enjoyed a stellar season on the domestic front last season, finding the net 12 times in 32 appearances for PSV.
Let’s face it, Cocu was always going to be loathe to let the gem of his squad depart for pastures new this early on in his career, but the former midfielder may have a point when it comes to his belief that Depay could benefit from hanging around the Eredivisie for at least one more season.
“No one has contacted us and he has a contract [until 2017] here so we should not get ahead of ourselves,” he is said to have told Dutch paper Voetbal International.
“I let Memphis know that it would good for him to have another year here.
"He has only one full season behind him. I think you need a certain foundation before making the next step.
"That is independent of the qualities that a person has.
"Therefore, he must stay at PSV at least one more year”
Such words of warning will not be well received by either Van Gaal or Mauricio Pochettino, both of whom are said to be vying to land the player after the culmination of the World Cup. However the allure of the Premier League, and the chance to continue playing under the new United boss might render Cocu’s opinion irrelevant if Depay angles to force a transfer.
United or Tottenham?
Whilst it’s safe to assume that the youngster would be offered more game-time in Pochettino’s new White Hart Lane set up, Spurs have been rocky of late, and a move to north London could be a gamble given their indifferent fortunes last term.
At United he would struggle to oust the likes of Antonio Valencia and Adnan Januzaj, but Van Gaal has a proven track record of giving developing talent a chance to blossom, and the exciting notion of signing up to the Red Devils revolution would be difficult for a player of Depay’s obvious ambition to resist.