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Memphis Depay

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Memphis Depay
Cskamu 52.jpg
Memphis Depay with Manchester United in 2015
Personal information
Full name Memphis Depay[1]
Date of birth (1994-02-13) 13 February 1994 (age 21)
Place of birth Moordrecht, Netherlands
Height 1.76 m (5 ft 9 12 in)
Playing position Winger
Club information
Current team
Manchester United
Number 7
Youth career
2000–2003 VV Moordrecht
2003–2006 Sparta Rotterdam
2006–2011 PSV Eindhoven
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2011–2015 PSV Eindhoven 90 (39)
2015– Manchester United 9 (2)
National team
2008–2009 Netherlands U15 4 (2)
2009 Netherlands U16 6 (2)
2010–2011 Netherlands U17 17 (8)
2011–2013 Netherlands U19 7 (8)
2013– Netherlands U21 7 (0)
2013– Netherlands 20 (3)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 21 November 2015.
† Appearances (goals)

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 10 October 2015

Memphis Depay (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈmɛmfɪs dəˈpɑi]; born 13 February 1994), also known simply as Memphis,[2] is a Dutch footballer who plays as a winger for English club Manchester United and the Netherlands national team. Depay was named as the "Best Young Player" in the world in 2015 by France Football.[3] Depay has been dubbed "New Ronaldo", due to similarities in playing style with the Portuguese counterpart.[4]

He began his professional career with PSV Eindhoven, and under the influence of manager Phillip Cocu, he became an integral part of the team scoring 50 goals in 124 games across all competitions. During the 2014–15 season, he was the top scorer of the league with 22 goals in 30 games, and helped the team win the Eredivisie title, for the first time since 2008. He was also awarded the Johan Cruyff Trophy for his performances during the season. He joined Manchester United in May 2015 for a reported fee of £25 million.

Depay was part of the Netherlands Under-17 team who won the 2011 European Championship. He made his senior debut in 2013, and the following year was part of their squad who came third at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Club career

PSV Eindhoven

Born in Moordrecht, Depay left his hometown club for Sparta Rotterdam aged nine, then moved to PSV Eindhoven three years later.[5]

2011–13: Beginnings

In 2011, Depay was on trial for PSV's first team while playing for Jong PSV – the club's reserve team. He made his official debut on 21 September 2011 in a KNVB Cup second round match against amateur side VVSB, opening an 8–0 away win.[6] His first Eredivisie match was 26 February 2012, when PSV beat rivals Feyenoord 3–2 at the Philips Stadion, coming on in added time for Zakaria Labyad. On 18 March, six minutes after replacing Dries Mertens, he scored his first league goal to confirm a 5–1 win over sc Heerenveen. He made a total of eight league appearances in his first season, all as a substitute, scoring three goals.

Depay featured in the 2012 KNVB Cup Final on 8 April, playing the final four minutes of the 3–0 win over Heracles Almelo in place of Mertens at De Kuip in Rotterdam under interim coach Phillip Cocu, and was officially deployed in the first team the following day.[7] On 29 June 2012, Depay signed his first professional contract with PSV, tying himself to the Boeren until 2017.[8]

On 5 August, Depay featured in the 2012 Johan Cruijff Schaal at the Amsterdam ArenA, replacing Luciano Narsingh for the final six minutes as PSV defeated league champions Ajax 4–2. He made 20 Eredivisie appearances in his second season, scoring twice, including two starts. The first of these was on 2 March 2013 in a 2–0 home win over VVV-Venlo, scoring after three minutes after being set up by fellow teenager Jürgen Locadia.[9] PSV again reached the cup final, losing 1–2 to AZ Alkmaar on 9 May, with Depay playing five minutes in place of Mertens.

2013–14: Breakthrough season

Depay scored his first goal in European football on 30 July 2013, when he drifted in from the left and then smashed the ball into the top corner past goalkeeper Sammy Bossut as PSV defeated Zulte Waregem 2–0 in the first leg of their Champions League third qualifying round tie.[10] PSV failed to qualify for the group stage of the Champions League,[11] but in their second group stage match in the Europa League, Depay scored again, this time curling the ball into the net from outside the area, as the Dutch side defeated Chornomorets Odesa 2–0 on 3 October.[12]

Memphis Depay with PSV in 2011

Depay provided the assist for Tim Matavž's goal against Roda JC on 27 October 2013, but picked up two second-half yellow cards and was sent off for the first time in his professional career as PSV slumped to a 2–1 defeat.[13] On 15 December, Depay helped PSV to just their second win in 13 matches, scoring twice in a 5–1 win over Utrecht.[14] Depay helped PSV rack up their eighth win a row on 23 March 2014, a 3–1 win over Roda JC, having a hand in Bryan Ruiz's game-winning goal despite wearing a protective mask to cover a bruised eye socket suffered in a challenge with Renato Ibarra of Vitesse on 15 March.[15]

He helped PSV secure a place in European competition for the 41st consecutive year, edging the ball past goalkeeper Jelle ten Rouwelaar to score their first in a 2–0 win over NAC Breda; the final day win ensured that the club would finish fourth in the Eredivisie table.[16]

2014–15: Top scorer and league title

After a successful showing in the 2014 World Cup, Depay was linked to a number of clubs, including Manchester United[17] and Tottenham Hotspur.[18] Amid the speculation surrounding his future, he started the season for PSV in impressive fashion. Depay came off the bench to score one goal and deliver one assist in the return game of the Europa League third qualifying round tie between PSV and SKN St. Pölten on 7 August, as his team progressed to the play-off round after a 3–2 away win, giving them a 4–2 aggregate win over the Austrians.[19] In the opening game of the Eredivisie season three days later, Depay played a major part in PSV's 3–1 away win against promoted side Willem II by scoring two goals.[20] He improved on this performance in the following game, scoring two free kicks and delivering the assist for Georginio Wijnaldum's goal in a convincing 6–1 home win against NAC Breda.[21] On 28 August, in the Europa League play-off second leg away in Belarus, he scored two late goals against Shakhtyor Soligorsk as PSV won 3–0 on aggregate to reach the group stage.[22] Depay then suffered a groin injury during PSV's 3–1 defeat at PEC Zwolle on 13 September and he was substituted in the 18th minute.[23]

On 18 April 2015, Depay scored the second goal with a free kick from 35 yards out, in a 4–1 home win over Heerenveen to give PSV their 22nd Eredivisie title, and first since 2008.[24] Later that month, the club confirmed that they had received interest from others wishing to sign him, including Manchester United.[25] He scored his last home goal for PSV in a 2–0 win against Heracles on 10 May. As he was substituted off, the stadium was filled with a defeaning cheer from the crowd around him and he was met with numerous congratulations from his teammates.[26] He finished the season as the league's top scorer with 22 goals, two ahead of the runner-up, his team-mate Luuk de Jong.[27]

Manchester United

Memphis Depay playing for United in 2015

On 7 May 2015, PSV confirmed that they had agreed a deal with Manchester United over Depay's transfer, subject to a medical.[28][29] United manager Louis van Gaal said that he was "forced" into signing him early, due to interest from Paris Saint-Germain.[30] Despite insistence from Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers that he had never been after Depay, PSV director Marcel Brands had stated that he had conversations with Liverpool over a possible signing.[31] United confirmed the signing of Depay on 12 June, on a four-year contract with the option to extend for a further year.[32] He was unveiled as a Manchester United player at a press conference on 10 July 2015.[33] This made him the fourth player to join United from PSV after Jaap Stam, Park Ji-Sung and Ruud Van Nistelrooy. He made his Manchester United debut in a pre-season friendly against Club América in Seattle on 17 July, contesting the first half as United fielded a different 11 players for each 45 minutes.[34] He scored his first goal for the club four days later during a 3–1 win over San Jose Earthquakes.[35] At his own request, Depay was given the iconic number 7 shirt, previously worn by club legends such as George Best, Bryan Robson, David Beckham, Michael Owen and Cristiano Ronaldo.[36][37]

2015–16 season

Depay made his Premier League debut on 8 August as the season opened with a 1–0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford. He was substituted after 68 minutes for Ander Herrera, and Van Gaal said after the match that Depay was playing in too eager a manner.[38] On 18 August, Depay scored his first two goals for Manchester United, and assisted Maroune Fellaini's final goal, in a 3–1 home victory over Club Brugge in the first leg of the Champions League play-offs.[39] Depay provided the assist for Wayne Rooney's first of his three goals, in the second leg. He scored again on 15 September in the first game of the competition's group stage, in an eventual 2–1 loss at his former team PSV.[40] Depay was labelled as United's 'European Danger Man', following his early success in the Champions League.[41] Depay scored his first Premier League goal on 26 September, opening a 3–0 home win over Sunderland, a victory which put United on top of the league for the first time in 110 weeks.[42][43]

Following his early struggles in the Premier League, he told Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf "There are a lot of games in Manchester. There are very few rest days and on training days you are mainly concerned with recovering. It's heavy, two games a week, always at a high level, and my body has to get used to that." These confessions were rubbed off by assistant manager and former United player and legend Ryan Giggs, who blamed Depay's flashy lifestyle as the cause to his poor form.[44] Regarding his form, Van Gaal warned Depay of not emulating Ángel Di María, who suffered a similar setback after joining United, and left prior to Depay's arrival.[45] He was later dropped to the bench along with club and national team-mate Daley Blind, during United's 3–0 win over Everton on 17 October 2015, following the Netherlands' failure to qualify for the UEFA Euro 2016.[46][47] Despite this, Depay was named in the 59-man longlist for the FIFA Ballon d'Or, alongside team-mates Wayne Rooney and David de Gea, though none of them could make it to the shortlist.[48][49]

After being dropped in 4 consecutive matches, Depay got his first start as a second striker due to Anthony Martial and Wayne Rooney's unavailability, and seized the opportunity with his second league goal in a 2–1 away win over Watford at Vicarage Road and gaining his first 'Man of the Match' in the Premier League. He scored an 11th-minute opener when he volleyed in Ander Herrera's cross with his left foot. Manager Van Gaal praised his performance saying, "he played a very good match".[50][51][52]

International career


Depay was a member of the Dutch under-17 team which won the 2011 European Championship in Serbia. In the final against Germany in Novi Sad, he scored the goal which put the Netherlands ahead as they came from behind to defeat their rivals 5–2.[53]


Memphis Depay training with the Netherlands in March 2015

Depay made his international debut on 15 October 2013, coming on for Jeremain Lens in the last minute of a 2–0 away win against Turkey at the Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium in World Cup qualification.[54]

He was selected by Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal in the final 23-man squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.[55] He came on as a substitute before the half-time whistle in the second group match against Australia to replace defender Bruno Martins Indi, who had sustained a head injury, and in the 68th minute he scored the winning goal, a swerving effort from outside the box. He also set up Robin van Persie's equaliser.[56] He became the youngest Dutchman to score a goal at the World Cup, at the age of 20 years and four months.[57] He came on as a substitute again in the final group match against Chile on 23 June in São Paulo and scored the second goal for the Dutch, tapping in an Arjen Robben cross, as they clinched first place with a 2–0 victory.[58]

On 11 July, Depay was named on the three-man shortlist for the tournament's Best Young Player award, together with Frenchmen Paul Pogba and Raphaël Varane,[59] but lost out to Pogba.[60]

Depay's first goal since the World Cup came in a friendly at the Amsterdam Arena on 5 June 2015, deflecting Klaas-Jan Huntelaar's shot to put the Netherlands 3–1 up against the United States, although the team eventually lost 4–3.[61] In October of that year, he was involved in a fight with teammate Robin van Persie at an international training camp; manager Danny Blind stated to the media "There are sometimes situations in training where players think different. Then you talk about it. That's what happened and then it's over."[62] The following month, both Depay and Van Persie were dropped from the Dutch squad for friendlies against Wales and Germany, with Blind stating of Depay "In football you must function in a team. He doesn't always do that. That's something he has to learn."[63]

Style of play

Memphis Depay playing for PSV in 2011.

Early in his career, a PSV coach noted Depay as "very angry", and he now uses a life coach to aid his mentality.[2] In April 2015, The Daily Telegraph described Depay as "a fearsome striker of the ball with his right-foot but is usually used an as inverted left winger who cuts onto his right foot. A pacey and tricky player, his direct running makes him a difficult opponent for defenders".[2] However, they criticised him as "a ball-hog", pointing out his high rate of shots in comparison to a low rate of assists.[2] Depay is also known for his free-kick ability. During the 2014–15 season, he was statistically the best set-piece taker in the whole of Europe, as he scored seven times in 33 attempts, the most in all European leagues and the second-best accuracy.[64][65][66][67][68]

Former Dutch international and Southampton manager Ronald Koeman regards Depay as "a great talent", but says that he must continue his personal development due to the physicality and mental strength needed in the Premier League.[5] Former Wigan Athletic and Portsmouth defender Arjan de Zeeuw stated about Depay, "People regard him as a little bit arrogant, a little bit cocky, but I think he is a very good player, a very promising player, a very strong, very quick player and he's got some skill."[69]

Depay has been compared to former United player Cristiano Ronaldo and fellow international Arjen Robben. Thijs Slegers says about the comparisons, "Memphis is a little bit like Cristiano; they have similar qualities, although there are of course areas where Memphis is inferior. However, his determination to be the best is where I see the real similarity with Cristiano."[70] Like Ronaldo, Depay combines technical expertise with pure physical strength.[71]

Personal life

Depay was born in the small southern Dutch village of Moordrecht. He is the son of a Ghanaian father and a Dutch mother, who split up when he was aged four.[2] He plays only under his given name to spite his absent father.[2] Depay has numerous tattoos, including one that is a tribute to his grandfather, who died on the day before he turned 15, down his left arm.[72] He also has a tattoo on the inside of his lip and has 'dream chaser' emblazed on his upper torso.[73]

His father, Dennis Depay, told British newspaper The Sun that he wishes to reconcile with Memphis, and contested his son's claim that he ever abandoned him.[74][75]

Depay is dating Karrueche Tran, an aspiring actress, model and Chris Brown's ex-girlfriend, since moving to United in June 2015.[76]

Career statistics


As of match played 21 November 2015.[77]
Club Season League Cup[nb 1] League Cup Europe[nb 2] Other[nb 3] Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
PSV 2011–12 Eredivisie 8 3 3 2 0 0 0 0 11 5
2012–13 20 2 4 1 5 0 1 0 30 3
2013–14 32 12 1 0 10 2 0 0 43 14
2014–15 30 22 1 0 9 6 0 0 40 28
Total 90 39 9 3 24 8 1 0 124 50
Manchester United 2015–16 Premier League 9 2 0 0 2 0 6 3 0 0 17 5
Career total 99 41 9 3 2 0 30 11 1 0 141 55


Statistics accurate as of matches played on 10 October 2015.[78]
Netherlands senior team
Year Apps Goals
2013 3 0
2014 10 2
2015 7 1
Total 20 3



PSV Eindhoven[77]





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External links