Ex-Barcelona star and current Southampton manager Ronald Koeman believes that Manchester United signing Memphis Depay may struggle in his first season in England.
“He won’t play every game. I have learnt, while I am here in England, that Dutch players can’t make the jump to the top of the Premier League easily. And young players can’t play 38 games anyway,” said Koeman.
Memphis Depay, who scored 25 goals for PSV this past season, had attracted a lot of interest from various European clubs for his performances for PSV Eindhoven. The Saints manager revealed that he had been in touch with the player’s agent over the possibility of a transfer last year, but was turned down as Depay wanted to spend another season at PSV. And then Manchester United came calling.
In thinly veiled criticism of the club, Koeman indirectly accused United of using their financial muscle to poach high quality players. “If you pay millions for Di Maria who hardly plays, if you pay a fortune in wages and rent fee for [on-loan] Radamel Falcao who NEVER plays, than £25m ($40m) is not a lot of money for them,” Koeman said, speaking with the Mirror.
The former Barcelona defender who holds the record for goals scored by any player in that position also criticized the attitude of young footballers in general.
“And I see another lack of quality with the Dutch kids, that I have also noticed with other young stars in the Premier League, they don’t communicate! They behave like individuals. Stuck to their smartphones,” lamented Koeman who has repeatedly stressed on the importance of communication as an essential team building tool.
Southampton Head Scout Henk Grim joined in the criticism of Memphis Depay claiming that although his technical ability was outstanding, the Dutch winger’s personality leaves a lot to be desired.
“I watched the young Memphis Depay often enough. I was doing scouting work on him when he was playing in the Under-16 side for PSV Eindhoven, and there was this game against FC Twente,” Grim said.
“I always work with a list of five specific qualities: skills, tactics, physique, attitude, personality. I did not get any higher with my average ratings than 5.6 out of 10.”
“And you know what brought the rating down most of all? The rating for his personality. It is only because of the fact that I could not go any lower than zero out of 10, otherwise I would have rated him well below that.”
“It was absolutely disgusting, the foul language that boy used towards his fellow players and towards people in the crowd,” he concluded in his assessment of the player.
The 21 year old United newboy will undoubtedly seek to silence his critics after his €25million move to Old Trafford as Manchester United begins its pre-season tour.