Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal has revealed his plan is to nurture Memphis Depay and allow him to settle in England without the added pressure of expectation, when the midfielder officially joins from PSV in the summer.
Yesterday the 21-year-old successfully undertook a medical examination at United’s Carrington training ground, one that was believed to be the last potential obstacle facing Van Gaal’s first signing of the year.
Deal all done
As a result the £25 million transfer is now essentially a foregone conclusion, and though fans will be wary about welcoming Depay until they see him walk through the doors to report for duty Van Gaal is already planning for life with his former international student.
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Writing in the programme for United’s most recent fixture against Arsenal, the 63-year-old revealed how he was aware Depay was a player of incredible potential, but also insisted that it will take time for the Eredivisie superstar to properly adapt to the English game.
Caution to be advised
“Youth is very important to this club and is a very big part of my philosophy as a manager," van Gaal wrote.
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"We have a number of young players in our first-team squad who have benefitted from experiencing first-team football this season and that will help their development going into next season.
“Memphis Depay [is] a young player who has come through the PSV Eindhoven academy system," the boss continued. "I worked with Memphis during last summer’s World Cup with the Netherlands and he has great potential.
"The plan is to help him develop as a player, but we must all be patient. The Premier League is very different from any other league and it will take time for him to fully adapt to the pace and unforgiving nature of football in this country.”
Indeed recently the likes of Juan Cuadrado and Radamel Falcao have proven how difficult it can be for players to acclimatise quickly to the rigours of the Premier League, and given Depay’s age Van Gaal will certainly be keen to emphasise just how important it is for fans to be patient before expecting him to be at his best.
The youngster has proven both internationally and on the club scene that he’s more than capable of being an extremely influential figure in the middle of the park, and it’s testament to his ability that Van Gaal made him a transfer priority despite supposedly having interest in global stars like Gareth Bale and Paul Pogba.
That said supporters can expect more from the Dutchman when the summer market is properly opened. United will have money to spend thanks to Adidas’ kits sponsorship deal and with Champions League football now definitely on the agenda for next year reinforcements will be a must.
Strengthening the squad
As a result a frenetic period of activity can be expected, particularly since certain areas of United’s squad look precariously under strength.
Nonetheless Depay’s arrival gives Van Gaal not only more creative flair in the final third but also the presence of a midfielder with true mettle in his game. Providing a natural leader for the back four can be found and signed United already look like they’re set to have a very profitable summer indeed, though naturally there’s no guaranteeing the new arrivals will settle in perfectly.
United fans if you had control of United’s budget who would you sign? Let us know in the comments box below.