Sunday 23 October 2016

It's not so easy for Depay anymore

Memphis Depay made a blistering start to his United career but recently has found himself on the bench
Memphis Depay made a blistering start to his United career but recently has found himself on the bench

Manchester United winger Memphis Depay has hit back at questions over his attitude, stressing he is a team player who is working hard on "getting back to the top".

After a big-money move in the summer from PSV Eindhoven - with whom he finished 2014-15 as the Eredivie's top-scorer with 22 goals - Depay made a promising start at Old Trafford.

The 21-year-old netted a brace in what was only his third competitive United game - a Champions League play-off first leg win against Club Brugge - and started every one of United's English Premier League matches up to the 3-0 loss at Arsenal on October 4.

But he was taken off at half-time in that contest and has since only been part of the first XI for the Capital One Cup clash against Middlesbrough on October 28.

Although saying he still believes in him, boss Louis van Gaal has suggested he is worried Depay might not be able to adapt to his philosophy at the club.

Meanwhile, Holland boss Danny Blind was recently quoted as saying Depay is not always a team player. But Depay - a goalscorer in Van Gaal's Dutch side at the 2014 World Cup - yesterday told Dutch media organisation NOS: "When I spoke to Danny Blind, it was a very good conversation.

"I think I'm a team player and the other players in the team also think that. I don't think I'm in a difficult path of my career as the media talk, but I just think my form isn't very good right now.

"I'm still working hard. Just because I don't show the exact form that I showed at the World Cup or last year, it doesn't mean I don't work hard.

"Right now, I feel good again. Other people don't see what I'm doing in training so people think I'm not busy with football but that's not true."

Depay admits he is finding life on the bench difficult but has emphasised he is feeling positive about the efforts he is putting in to rectify his situation at United.

He said: "Of course, it's difficult when you're on the bench but it's going better right now.

"If I get my chance to play, I will take it.

"I think lots of things have changed. I'm in a new club right now and it's a different level compared to the Dutch league.

"Such things are playing a big role when you're trying to find your way and it was a bit easy at the start but then I fell back and you could see it in the way I played.

"However, you can assume I'm busy with working on that and getting back to the top.

"I feel fit and I'm trying to show on the training ground that I'm doing my best to perform well."

Depay's team-mate, winger Antonio Valencia has undergone an operation on a foot injury he suffered in last month's derby. The 30-year-old posted a picture on social media from his hospital bed to say the surgery had gone well and he will now begin a rehabilitation process.

Valencia was kicked on the foot during the first half of United's goalless draw against City on October 25 but played on until late in the game before being replaced by Matteo Darmian.

He had just ousted summer arrival Darmian as first-choice right-back but now faces an unspecified time on the sidelines having gone under the knife.

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