Gary Neville has had his say on the arrival of Memphis Depay at Manchester United, praising the Dutch winger for his potential.
Manchester United confirmed they'd reached an agreement with PSV Eindhoven for a reported £22 million fee, subject to a medical, for the young winger last week. The 21-year-old has managed 22 goals in 29 Eredivisie appearances and is well on his way to the Golden Boot having already helped his team claim the league title.
Ashley Young has been manager Louis van Gaal's first-choice in recent weeks on the left-wing ahead of club record signing Angel di Maria, but when quizzed about what Depay will bring to Manchester United next season, Neville, working as a pundit for Sky Sports, had his say about the move.
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He said: "In Depay what they are buying is potential, someone who has scored goals in the Dutch league. I think Dutch schooled wingers are by far the best at understanding the position, and they’re the best at the double and triple movements to get on the ball. You don’t see many wingers outside of Holland, especially in England doing that.
"He’s got pace, touch, an ability to score goals, movement - it’s all about whether he can settle down in Manchester. He’ll need some time, whether he can transfer that ability that he’s shown for PSV Eindhoven into Manchester United, it’s a completely different field."
Manchester United were forced to swoop for Depay when it became apparent that Paris Saint-Germain were in the race for his signature. Liverpool were said to be in the running for his services as well, however boss Brendan Rodgers has since denied ever being interested.
Van Gaal admitted last week that he was 'forced' to make a move amidst fears he may lose Depay to PSG, while the winger himself claimed he was close to heading to the Parc des Prince.
"The transfer to PSG was really close," he said. "I always knew United were interested but it was nothing concrete. Then at the last moment they called and I spoke with their coach. It was a difficult situation but, after I spoke to Louis van Gaal, I said, 'I am going to go to Manchester'.
"I'm really proud and I believe I can be a big player at Old Trafford. I will give everything I have. I said to myself when I was 12, 'I want to play there'. It's a dream come true."
It is difficult to know what the arrival of Depay will do for the future of Angel di Maria. The Argentine has lost his place to Ashley Young in recent weeks and there has been more than enough speculation about where he could end up next term.
Depay can of course play through the middle and Van Gaal may have a long-term plan to implement a 4-3-3 which involves both Di Maria and Depay which means that Fellaini loses his role as a key player - a solution Van Gaal's stumbled upon this season.
If that's the long-term plan then the signing makes sense. As it stands - especially if they sign a right-back and free up Antonio Valencia - then Di Maria is in danger.