The Red Devils legend thinks the Lyon forward’s move to Manchester came too early and that he wasn’t mature enough to make the grade
Rio Ferdinand has offered an explanation as to why Memphis Depay failed at Manchester United while describing the Netherlands star as a “maverick”.
Depay is currently starring at the European Championships with his country, having earned a place in Frank de Boer’s squad after another stellar individual campaign at Lyon.
The 27-year-old is now regarded among the top forwards on the continent, and is reportedly on the verge of joining Spanish giants Barcelona, but his ill-fated stint at Old Trafford between 2015 and 2017 remains a black mark on his overall career record.
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What’s been said?
Depay was unable to establish himself as a regular starter at United under both Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho, with the latter eventually sanctioning his move to Lyon in a £22 million ($31m) deal four years ago.
Ferdinand was in the BBC Sport studio covering the Netherlands’ 2-0 Euros win over Austria that sealed their place in the round of 16 on Thursday, and offered his take on the striker’s unique skillset.
“I think he’s a maverick,” the former Red Devils defender said of Depay. “He’s a new-age type of personality who embraces everything of the lifestyle of a football player and beyond, and some people who are old school don’t like that and it’s taken time for someone even like me to adapt to that.”
Pressed on why the Dutchman flopped in Manchester, Ferdinand responded: “I think it comes down to numerous things. Timing, the right time and right place, and maturity, he may have gone there too young.
“And coaching, the right coaching at the right time.”
Depay’s Old Trafford nightmare
United forked out £25m ($35m) to prise Depay away from PSV ahead of the 2015-16 season, having seen him emerge as one of the brightest young talents in the Eredivisie during his time at Philips Stadion.
The mercurial frontman went on to appear in 53 games across all competitions for the Premier League giants, but only contributed seven goals and six assists to their cause, with most of those outings coming from the bench.
Depay’s record for Lyon & the Netherlands
Since leaving Old Trafford, Depay has rebuilt his career at the Groupama Stadium while helping Lyon re-emerge as a formidable force in both domestic and European competitions.
The ex-United outcast has hit 76 goals in his first 178 games for the Ligue 1 outfit and set up another 55, while also saving plenty of high-quality performances for the international stage.
Depay’s successful penalty against Austria took his tally for the Netherlands to 27 goals from 66 games, and he could add to his haul when De Boer’s side complete their Group C schedule against North Macedonia on Monday.
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