Wayne Rooney's story about Memphis Depay explains why he failed at Manchester United


Memphis Depay was one of the most exciting talents in European football when Manchester United secured his services in the summer of 2015.

The Netherlands international, 21 at the time, was compared to Cristiano Ronaldo after scoring 28 goals in 40 appearances for PSV Eindhoven.

United subsequently handed Memphis the club’s iconic No. 7 shirt - previously worn by Ronaldo, of course - and fans couldn’t wait to see their new £31 million star work his magic at Old Trafford during his debut season.

Sadly, though, Memphis failed to replicate the same match-winning performances with United in the Premier League and Champions League.

Barring the odd moment of class, the Dutchman struggled and eventually found himself in and out of the starting line-up.

He made 45 appearances in his debut season, scoring seven goals. Jose Mourinho then took over from Louis van Gaal in the summer of 2016 and barely played the talented winger.

The Portuguese coach sold Memphis to Lyon in January 2017 and the Netherlands international has since rediscovered his form and confidence over in France.

Rooney tells funny story about Memphis

He netted 22 goals in 51 games last season and some United fans have questioned whether letting him go may have been a mistake.

One of the biggest question marks over Memphis was his suspect attitude. Incredibly self-assured and perhaps even a tad arrogant, the Dutchman clearly had a penchant for the ‘finer’ things in life - the flashy clothes, cars and so on.

A player with his talent and a different attitude may well have succeeded under Mourinho.

Wayne Rooney played alongside Memphis at Old Trafford and the veteran striker, who now plies his trade for D.C. United in America, has told a cracking anecdote about his former teammate which goes some way to explaining why he failed at United.

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“He came on at Stoke away,” Rooney is quoted as saying by the Daily Mail, “and he messed up for their goal and he only played 15 minutes, so Louis van Gaal told him he was playing for the reserves the next day.

“So after the game I just said: ‘Look, it's going to be a bit difficult for you. Just don't come in with all your fancy stuff.’

“The reserve game was at Altrincham's ground and he turned up for it in his Rolls Royce, wearing a red leather jacket and a cowboy hat. And I just thought: ‘What's the point.’”

Memphis should have taken Rooney’s advice, but he clearly just wanted to continue doing his own thing.

This reluctance to listen to those offering sound advice was, you have to assume, one of the main reasons why his United career came to such a premature and abrupt ending.

It’s a shame how it ended for Memphis at Old Trafford - although stories like this certainly make it more understandable why United binned him.

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