Incoming Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has reportedly requested two specific signings as the Red Devils look to initiate their summer rebuild.
One of these reported targets is Memphis Depay, who would be sealing a Manchester United meeting if the transfer came to fruition.
What’s the word?
That is according to reports in Spain who claim that Depay is a new option for Manchester United’s attack, among Frenkie de Jong – of which we have known for some time now.
According to the report, it is said that Barcelona would be willing to sell the 28-year-old centre-forward Depay in order to raise funds, with Xavi using him sparingly throughout the season.
The report states that United are “willing to make a first offer of £100 million for both players” (De Jong included), though there is also the opportunity of a swap deal for “players such as Alex Telles and McTominay” potentially included.
The prospective meeting between Manchester United and Depay is bound to split opinion across the Red Devils fan base.
Though, it is important to remember that the Netherlands’ forward is a completely different player to the one that Louis Van Gaal signed back in 2015.
MUFC fans! Would you take Memphis Depay?
And it is
For a start, he is now an outright centre-forward as opposed to a winger, and a complete one at that.
His switch in position has added maturity to his game and boosted his end product tally, with his 11 goals in 24 La Liga appearances a solid start in his first season at Barcelona. The fact that Depay has started just 50% of those games makes his goal-haul even more impressive.
Depay, who has been dubbed a “geniuses” by The Guardian’s Jonathan Liew, has scored more goals in the league this season than Anthony Martial has managed in his previous two Premier League campaigns.
Just two years the Frenchman’s senior, Depay has bagged 157 times across the course of his career, beating Martial’s total of 95.
Most importantly though, Barcelona No.9’s composition on the ball would be welcomed by ten Hag, with technical ability a pre-requisite in order to function efficiently in his mass-possession system.
With his match average of 36.70 completed passes, he possesses an ability to drop into midfield into a ‘false nine’ type role and help his side build progressive, patient, possession-based attacks, rather than relying on chances from his teammates.
Martial’s average of 25.67 completed passes per 90 falls short of this, with the Frenchman also having significantly less touches, with a match average of 44.12 outdone by Depay’s match average of 62.08 touches per 90.
In this aspect, he could be United’s version of Firmino. A technically gifted forward who can perform both attacking and defensive aspects of the game.
Should this reported interest transpire, United will most certainly have bagged themselves an attacking upgrade over Martial.
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