Memphis Depay may be struggling to make an impact at Manchester United on the pitch, but off of it his value remains as high as ever.
The Dutchman arrived from PSV Eindhoven amidst much fanfare this summer. He had just inspired his club to the Eredivisie title, winning the golden boot in the process and had cost United a reported £31million.
It was a small price to pay for a man likened to Cristiano Ronaldo. He had huge talent and was sure to bring flair and excitement back to Manchester United's game. Now, however, he sits behind Jesse Lingard in Louis van Gaal's pecking order.
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But while Depay seems to have little value during games, he is making the Old Trafford outfit big money on the commercial side. Their executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward says kit sales of his 'Memphis 7' shirt are going through the roof.
In fact, the 21-year-old sits behind only Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo when it comes to shirt sales. Shame the same can't be said for his performances.
Woodward, speaking at the release of United's quarterly figures, said:
"Kitbag recently released a ranking list of top selling shirts in July to September, and the results are worth sharing.
"Memphis Depay is the new entrant in the ranks – the third-highest selling shirt in the world after Messi and Ronaldo.
“Three out of the top 10 shirts are Manchester United players – Bastian Schweinsteiger and Wayne Rooney being the others. Last year, while with Bayern Munich, Schweinsteiger ranked at 31, but has moved up to fourth position.
“As we have previously stated, we believe the impact on player profiles around the world by joining Manchester United is very powerful - and the shirt sales figures are strong evidence of that.”
Of course, if Depay continues his dramatic decline, no one is going to want his name on the back of their shirt when the next Manchester United kit comes out.
Not only has he been dropped from the United team, but Holland coach Danny Blind has questioned his teamwork while there are also concerns regarding the 5kg in weight he has gained since the summer. There is plenty of work to be done if Depay is to become the player everyone thought he would.
The top 10
1) Lionel Messi
2) Cristiano Rolando
3) Memphis Depay
4) Bastian Schweinsteiger
5) Eden Hazard
6) Wayne Rooney
8) Sergio Aguero
9) Alexis Sanchez
10) Phillippe Coutinho
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