Louis Van Gaal’s first summer signing was finally unveiled at Carrington on Friday afternoon, as Memphis Depay sat alongside his new manager, who he knows so well, Louis Van Gaal. The manager was successful in his attempts to lure Depay to Old Trafford, seeing off competition from PSG and Liverpool to secure the Eredivisie’s leading scorer last season.
Whilst confirming that there would be plenty more transfer activity- incoming and outgoing- in the coming weeks, Van Gaal preferred to focus on talking up the talents of his first summer recruit, reserving him very high praise indeed:
“I think Memphis is one of the few highly-talented players his age,” Van Gaal said.
Van Gaal did have a message of caution for his new arrival, citing last summer’s arrivals and their varying degrees of success:
“He is full of confidence. You can hear that. He will notice that in the Premier League it is not so easy, compared to the Dutch league. There is always pressure on the ball and physically it is tough. He is confident but I know it is not easy. We have to give him time.”
Depay could not hide his excitement at joining United and was bullish about this season’s prospects and beyond:
“I’m very excited, it’s a dream come true. I had a good season last season but it starts again and I have to prove myself in the Premier League. I’m looking forward to it. I want to win trophies with the team. It’s the biggest club in the world so we have to win trophies.
“I think I can score goals. I will be creative. That’s what the crowd likes. I will work on it and I am excited to do my job for United. I want to score goals and try to make assists.”
Depay was asked by the media whether United could win the title in Van Gaal’s second season in charge, his response was clear:
“Yeah, for sure. We have a lot of quality. I’m the new kid here so I have to find my way but the team has the quality to win all the trophies and to win the Premier League title.”
“The other players say it’s a hard competition and that the game moves fast and everyone is strong. My teammates are going to help me settle in but I will have to do it myself as well. Everyone has been really nice. So far it’s been easy.”
What about the comparisons to a certain winger who arrived at United as a youngster and scored goals for fun?
“I don’t want to compare myself with someone like that. Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the best players in the world but I don’t want to talk too much, I want to let my feet speak.”
Depay cut an impressively confident figure for such young shoulders, but the right sort of confidence- mixed with a humble acceptance that life in England will not be plain sailing.
Van Gaal would also confirm the media speculation that Matteo Darmian was undergoing a medical in Manchester. The Italian is due to complete the formalities of his move in the coming hours:
“I have read that in the papers. But it is true.”