REUTERS – Winger Memphis Depay has hit back at his critics, insisting he is working hard to rediscover his best form after being axed from Manchester United’s first team by manager Louis van Gaal.
Memphis joined United in June from Dutch side PSV Eindhoven after finishing the season as the Dutch league’s top scorer with 22 goals.
He had a promising start to life at Old Trafford, making 13 appearances in a row, but his performances deteriorated until he was substituted at halftime during the 3-0 defeat by Arsenal in the Premier League on Oct. 4.
The 21-year-old has not featured in a league game for the club since, but responded to critics questioning his lifestyle choices and commitment to the team, saying his off-field demeanour had no bearing on the effort he put into training.
“Right now, I feel good again and other people don’t see what I’m doing in the training so people think I’m not busy with football but that’s not true,” said Memphis, who is on international duty with the Netherlands for friendlies against Wales on Nov. 13 and Germany on Nov. 17.
“You can assume I’m busy with working on 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,” he added.
“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.
“Of course, it’s difficult when you’re on the bench but it’s going better right now and it’s also going better on the training pitch. So, if I get my chance to play, I will take it.”
(Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by John O’Brien)