Will Memphis Depay ever justify comparisons to Cristiano Ronaldo?

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Just six months ago, Memphis Depay had the world at his feet. After a terrific season for PSV Eindhoven in the Eredivisie, scoring 22 goals in 30 games, the Dutchman transferred to arguably the biggest club on earth, Manchester United.

Signed for £25 million by former Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal, Depay started impressively in the Champions League, scoring two and assisting one in their 3-1 win against Belgian side Club Brugge to qualify for the group stages.

However, United's number seven, once compared to Cristiano Ronaldo, has so far disappointed fans, scoring only twice in nine Premier League games.


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Depay was dropped for four consecutive games in October and November, replaced by 20-year-old Englishman Jesse Lingard and compared instead to Angel Di Maria, who infamously flopped last season.

Signed for £59.7 million by Van Gaal in the summer of 2014, Di Maria was the last person given the mantle of replacing Ronaldo. The Argentine had a torrid time at Old Trafford, scoring only three goals in 27 appearances and moving to Paris Saint-Germain for £44.3 million just a season later.

Depay's recent performances in a United shirt have led fans to ask if the same could come of the 21-year-old, but after his goal and man-of-the-match performance against Watford on November 23, has the Dutchman turned a corner?

Playing in an unfamiliar central striker role, the forward opened the scoring with a superbly taken left-footed volley. United went on to win 2-1 to take Van Gaal's men up to second in the league.

Despite his goal, the return of Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial from injury saw Depay dropped to the bench against Leicester City last weekend. Van Gaal has questioned whether the winger can adapt to his philosophy and has so far been unsatisfied with his summer signing.

Depay came on to replace Rooney in the 68th minute against Leicester but had little impact on the game. With players such as Ashley Young and Lingard seemingly above him in the pecking order, what does the Dutchman need to do to get back in his manager's good books?

The Dutch starlet has claimed he struggled to adapt to the pace and power of the Premier League - something that few people expected after watching him thrive in Holland.

There's no doubting his talent, scoring seven direct free-kicks in his final season with PSV, as well as impressing at the 2014 World Cup despite still being a teenager.

Depay's goal against Watford will give hope to United fans that the 21-year-old can justify that number seven shirt, but there's a long way to go. 

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