Ronaldo Koeman has admitted his interest, Everton’s Twitter handlers have upped the ante with updates, and the player himself has refused to deny any interest in a move to Goodison Park. Not only is Memphis Depay struggling to see a future for himself at Manchester United, but a vision of a far more welcoming environment is quickly being formed elsewhere in the north west of England.
It would not be unfair to claim that Depay’s spell in the Premier League has been a disaster. After arriving to the sound of all sorts of praise – including comparisons with Cristiano Ronaldo – in the summer of 2015, the Dutchman’s performances have been the subject of huge disappointment and he has quickly found himself on the outside of the first-team squad looking in.
With a grand total of 21 minutes of league football under his belt in 2016-17 and manager Jose Mourinho questioning his desire to show a professional attitude in training recently, it is clear that Depay is at a new low in his troubled United career. At a time when the 22-year-old’s place within the Old Trafford setup is under review, there is almost no compelling evidence for his continued employment.
But there is now more than a chink of light visible at the end of the tunnel for the Netherlands international, with developments over the past few days opening up the possibility of a January move to Everton. Toffees’ boss Koeman was effusive in his praise of the former PSV star in the Dutch press, explaining: “I would like to have him, I think he is an interesting player. He has great individual qualities, he just needs to play games.”
The manager’s words were followed up with a revealing faux pas on the club’s Twitter account when an update on Everton’s international contingent included news of Depay’s first goal for the Netherlands against Luxembourg.
— Everton (@Everton) November 13, 2016
After grabbing a second strike, Memphis’ good mood will have been boosted even further by post-match talk of Everton’s interest, and he wasn’t exactly quick to commit himself to a prolonged stay with United when speaking to journalists.
“I do not know, we’ll have to see,” Depay said when asked of a potential switch to Merseyside.
“I focus on United, I do my very best to be able to get minutes. I’m going back to United with a good feeling, because I have got minutes here and we won. That is the most important thing.”
It is easy to see why a move to Everton would be appealing, with Koeman’s belief in Depay being a huge pull, as well as the opportunity to rebuild his career and reputation away from the spotlight somewhat. While his brash demeanour hardly helped, his arrival at United was met with a level of expectation he simply could not have met, despite the 28 goals he had netted for PSV the previous season.
At Goodison, he would get a little time out of the firing line. He would not have the whole world watching his every step in the same way, whether on or off the field. A player who thrives on confidence, Depay’s has clearly been drained by his inability to hit the ground running at United and his fortunes have only continued to slide with every opportunity he has had this term. From being laughed at by Wayne Rooney and his six-year-old son after an error in a pre-season game, to lasting just 55 minutes against third-tier Northampton Town in his only start of the campaign, things have gone from bad to worse for the Dutch winger.
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