Unless Manchester United conclude the signing of Gareth Bale or Cristiano Ronaldo this summer, it would be safe to suggest that they have done their best bit of business first, this summer.
Let’s not mince our words here. Memphis Depay will, in all likelihood, become a world star. It’s impossible to say with certainty that he will fulfil all of his amazing promise at Manchester United. But we think that we will be writing, on a weekly basis, about the interest of Barcelona and Real Madrid within two years. The difference in Depay’s case, is that he is from Northern Europe and may be happy to stay here when the two biggest clubs in the world inevitably come calling.
Depay is still rough around the edges. His first touch let’s him down on occasion and he lacks the overall finesse that only experience can bring. But he’s got pace to burn, power, courage and the trickery to beat anyone. He scores goals, creates for others and works really hard. He’s a top drawer signing who, at 21, took Spain apart almost single-handedly while playing for Holland in the spring.
It’s an extremely exciting signing and one which will obviously set tongues wagging. How will Manchester United line up next season? Due to his age, Depay may not guarantee a start straight away. But with United’s wing play lacking urgency, it won’t be long before he’s an integral part of the team.
We think that Louis van Gaal will go with a 4-3-3 next season with two flyers either side of Rooney up top. That means Depay and one other. It may well be Angel di Maria. Depay is right-footed so he would provide the balance required for a pacey front line.
We still think that Di Maria’s Manchester United career could be over but, assuming he stays, here is how we think that Manchester United will look next season, after another summer of major changes.