Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has admitted he has not been surprised by Memphis Depay's dip in form, but still believes he is the 'greatest talent of his age'.
The Dutch forward has struggled to adapt to life in the England and has not made a Premier League appearance since being dragged off at half-time in the Red Devils' 3-0 defeat to Arsenal.
To compound his misery, the former PSV Eindhoven star has been left out of Danny Blind's latest Holland squad for the friendlies with Wales and Germany, and the boss questioned his teamwork.
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Since the previous international break, Memphis has been limited to a single start in the Capital One Cup penalty shootout defeat to Middlesbrough. He also came on as a substitute in the 1-1 draw with CSKA Moscow.
Van Gaal believes Memphis is at a stage in his career where he has to adapt, but thinks United's number seven will return stronger from this setback. He also said there may be a period in Anthony Martial's career that is not too dissimilar to this current situation.
As per BT Sport, speaking ahead of United's game with CSKA on Tuesday night, the Dutch boss said: "I have said that he is the greatest talent of his age, maybe you will remember that, but I have said he is also only 21.
"And that's also an age that you cannot expect consistency. He is also in a phase of his career and he has to adapt to many, many things. So I have expected this but I'm also convinced that he's coming back maybe stronger than before, but we have to give him time.
Like we have to give time to Anthony Martial when he is a little bit lower in his game, but maybe Anthony Martial shall continue with scoring goals and helping us to win the matches. But I expect also that he shall get back from a dip in form [sic]."
There is no doubting Memphis' ability; he showed what he was capable of in the play-off round of the Champions League as he helped dispatch of Club Brugge.
And despite having limited game time, he should still have an important part to play for United this season.
With Wayne Rooney struggling as the lone striker, any move into a central position for Martial could offer Memphis a route back into the first-team. He just has to grab his opportunity with both hands.
Will Memphis Depay become a key player for Manchester United before the end of the season? Have your say in the comments section belowNews Now - Sport News