It’s important to remember that when Manchester United signed Memphis Depay in 2015, he was arriving with the reputation as one of the hottest prospects on the continent, fresh off helping PSV Eindhoven to the Eredivisie title, with the Dutch forward emerging as the top scorer in the top tier for the previous 14/15 season in the Netherlands.
Less than two years later, Depay was out of Manchester and on his way to France and Ligue 1 side Olympique Lyonnais having accumulated just seven goals for the Red Devils; his reputation upon leaving Old Trafford, now for being more style over substance; more flash than effectiveness.
The now 25-year-old has however revitalised his career, and to some extent that reputation, with Les Gones, albeit after a slow start. 34 goals and 38 assists in 104 appearances.
Depay has had a goal involvement in 70% of his over century of appearances for Lyon, and the Manchester Evening News now picks up on reports that Depay is now angling for a route back to England.
Former Arsenal star Robert Pires, speaking to bwin sports, has spoken on Depay’s future;
“I think Depay wants to come back to the Premier League and he feels he has unfinished business in England. He’s unhappy at Lyon and has already stated his ambitions to leave this summer for a big club in Europe.
"It didn’t work out for him at Manchester United and Depay is a very proud player. He perhaps feels he wasn’t given a chance to perform and earn the right to stay longer considering he was so young and showed glimpses of undoubted potential. Depay might want to return to Manchester United or he might be motivated to prove them wrong by performing for one of their rivals in the Premier League. It will be interesting to see what happens this summer.
If a move back to the English Premier League is truly on Depay’s mind, here’s where he could be heading to.
A team that have spent vast amounts of money with meagre results to show for it so far. Theo Walcott just hasn’t worked out since moving from the Gunners and turns 30 in mid-March. Surely that extra, much needed zest - particularly to complement Richarlison up front - could be found in Depay at Goodison.
Could the reason for Pires’ comments to be a form of giving the heads-up to his former club? Gunners manager Unai Emery knows all about Depay of course, from the time the Spaniard was in control of Paris Saint-Germain. Depay produced an absolutely astonishing goal to snatch three points from Les Parisiens, at the Groupama Stadium. It’s easy to see he’s a massive upgrade on the continuously underwhelming Alex Iwobi.
How about Arsenal’s hated North London rivals? So, the late-season malaise has hit the Lilywhites once again, demonstrating their fallibilities and lack of depth. Mauricio Pochettino may need to tweak his formation to accommodate, but when Harry Kane and Son Heung-min aren’t firing on all cylinders, it’s apparent that Spurs are desperate for a semblance of a Plan B. A decent price, and Depay could be a coup for this aspiring side.
If Depay really wants to prove he could do it in the Premier League, surely the best place to demonstrate his worth is back at his old club, the resurgent Red Devils? His ability to play on the right could make for a devastating triptych with Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial, a potent strikeforce all 25 or under that could lead the United frontline for the next few seasons, plus he has shown his affection for Man Utd since leaving with some well-timed barbs at cross-town rivals Man City.