Memphis Depay's ex-coach gives his theory for failure at Man United as fans want him back

Memphis Depay's old coach believes he can explain why the player didn't make it at United.

The hype surrounding Memphis Depay when he joined Manchester United in 2015 was huge.

That year saw the Dutchman named as the best young player in the world by France Football - the people behind the Ballon d'Or, no less - ahead of Raheem Sterling in third.

It feels particularly significant considering that summer saw both players move to Manchester, with Sterling signing for Manchester City for £50m - twice that of Depay.

Fast forward three years, however, and there's no doubt over which was the better deal.

Depay would leave United for Lyon under two years later for a £10m loss, while Sterling is an integral part of City's title-winning team.

Perhaps even more frustrating for United fans is that Depay has gone to France and immediately looked like a top player again.

He scored 22 times in his first full season last year and has already added six more this season - including an outrageous free-kick against Guingamp earlier this month.

As for why things didn't work out at Old Trafford, Depay's former coach for the Dutch U-21s has a theory - and it's one that surely opens the door for a return.

Memphis Depay arrived at Manchester United with a lot of excitement.

"I found Memphis to be a very positive boy," Cor Pot told Voetbalprimeur. "You already saw that it was a very great talent, maybe he went to Manchester United a bit too early, and that was all too fast.

"He was just a basic player in Eindhoven, Lyon was a good step for Memphis. It's fantastic now.

"He keeps on developing himself - not only as a player, but also as a person - Memphis gets a bit calmer, does not do any crazy things anymore, but at the time he was a bit shy.

"Of course you had that fuss with that extravagant behaviour. That seems a bit over now, I think he's doing fine."

Depay's return to form does appear to back up what Pot is saying; perhaps he is simply a player who needed to progress gradually, rather than being thrown in at the deep end with Louis van Gaal and United.

And if Pot is right, then it opens the door for something United fans are screaming right now: that the club should activate the buy-back clause in his contract.

It's increasingly looking like a really good option for United - perhaps that hype won't have been for nothing, after all.

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