Manchester United seem to have come to a standstill in terms of their evolution under Louis van Gaal and those who have been waiting patiently for a fully-baked team are scratching their heads as United plod through games with 80% possession and 0% excitement.
But we have always maintained that Louis van Gaal has bought well for Manchester United. He isn’t getting the best out of many of them but he has rejuvenated the squad with genuine quality.
Some of his team selections, however, have been questionable and chief amongst these is his benching of Memphis.
Memphis may be an erratic player of just 21 but he is easily one of Manchester United’s top three forwards already.
We would take him over the likes of Mata, Young, Fellaini and Lingard every day of the week and twice on Sunday for good measure.
And we wonder whether Louis van Gaal’s clear punishment of the player – he has dragged Manchester United’s No.7 off at half time on several occasions this season already, (probably) for not doing what the boss has asked – is doing a fragile youngster any favours?
Would he be on the bench under Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool for example? Or would he be one of the stars of that team?
Should he not be getting an arm around the shoulder and as many minutes of first team football as possible to iron out the creases?
For our money Memphis is clearly going to become a top player – but he won’t gain much experience from sitting on the bench at Manchester United. And it’s not as if United are falling over themselves with top forwards in the squad right now.
Cristiano Ronaldo infuriated many at United for 2 whole seasons until a match-winning performance in The FA Cup final against Millwall kick-started his meteoric rise. But Fergie kept playing him because he knew that experience was all that was lacking.
Manchester United’s attack is slow and laboured (as is the Wolfsburg defence) – Memphis is explosive, athletic, gifted and powerful.