Memphis Depay, who signed for Barcelona earlier this summer, has opened up on the decision to leave Manchester United four years ago as he prepares for a new chapter in Spain.
The Dutch winger was one of Louis van Gaal’s star signings in 2015 and was tipped for a long future at Old Trafford but struggled to make an imprint in a red shirt.
After a breathtaking first month at the club, which included a brace in the Champions League play-off round against Club Brugge, his influence waned and he was subsequently dropped by Van Gaal.
As the season went on, Marcus Rashford’s emergence paired with Anthony Martial’s skyrocketing rise meant that a return to regular first-team action was unlikely. Jose Mourinho’s appointment just a year after joining the club didn’t help either.
Now, the Netherlands star has opened up on the decision to leave Manchester United, revealing that Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba both asked the player why he wasn’t playing.
“I lost a bit of confidence and I lost the confidence of [Louis] Van Gaal and his staff. It was hard for me. The following season I felt like I had more experience, but they changed the coach.
“Jose Mourinho came and I fought to get into the team but I think the idea of giving me a chance was never in his head. He never gave me an opportunity. Never.
“I went to his office but it changed nothing. It was a very difficult period, I felt that I was training well and the players themselves did not understand it.
“Pogba and Zlatan told me: “Why don’t you ever play?” For me that was the confirmation that I had no chance. And I realised that I didn’t want to be in a big club without playing.”
Although it didn’t turn out to be the fairytale ending at Manchester United, the 27-year-old is likely to be happy with the trajection of his career following his switch to Lyon in 2017.