Former Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has opened up on Memphis Depay’s disappointing spell at Old Trafford.
Jose Mourinho has suggested Memphis Depay simply joined Manchester United at the wrong time as he wasn’t ready to handle life at a big club.
The 27-year-old spent 18 months at Old Trafford upon completing a €34 million transfer from PSV Eindhoven. He made 53 appearances for United in all competitions, providing seven goals and six assists.
Halfway into Mourinho’s first season as Red Devils manager, however, the Portuguese sold Depay to Lyon for €16m – a move he believes worked out well for the new Barcelona man.
Memphis Depay’s Manchester United numbers 15/16 (P90):
– 3.5 shots (#1 in squad)
– 1.03 SOT (#1)
– 2.1 fouls won (#1)
– 1.7 dribbles (#2)
– Dispossessed 3 times P90 (#1)
– 0.7 key passes (#6)
– 2 goals from an XG of 5 (4th highest total)
Sold at a 50% loss 🤷♂️ pic.twitter.com/E5iouv8gVH
— Hamill (@CPHamill) June 22, 2021
“He is a really good professional. People can look at him and probably think he’s a party boy,” Mourinho told talkSPORT.
“I think he got this maturity in Lyon which is sometimes what players need.
“Sometimes they can go too early to the biggest clubs where they are not ready to cope with it. Where they are not ready to understand that in the biggest clubs there is internal competition, that you can not play all the time. That there are fantastic players to fight with you for a position. They can lose a little sense of reality and become a bit childish. Which is what happened.
“So when he decided to go to Lyon it was a great move for him and now he goes to Barcelona with maturity, with a good football age and I believe the Barcelona culture of football will help him also to level up in this important part of his career.”
Mourinho added: “But good memories of him and I repeat – he was a good professional.”
Of course, Mourinho may have a point on Depay’s time in France. The forward has rebuilt his career in the last four years at Lyon and did enough to earn a free transfer to Barcelona this summer.
At 27 years of age, Depay heads to Camp Nou with his best days arguably still ahead of him.