Connect with us


Wayne Rooney launches staunch defence of Memphis Depay following Manchester United accusations



| Last Updated:


Credit: BBC

Wayne Rooney has launched a staunch defence of Memphis Depay following accusations of his work rate and attitude at Manchester United during his two years at Old Trafford.

Memphis Depay‘s tenure at Manchester United, which spanned from 2015 to 2017, was marked by high expectations but ultimately proved underwhelming. Signed by then-manager Louis van Gaal for a fee of around £25 million, Depay arrived at Old Trafford with a burgeoning reputation following a stellar season at PSV Eindhoven, where he finished as the Eredivisie’s top scorer.

Wearing the iconic number 7 jersey donned by previous names such as David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo, he was anticipated to become United’s next great winger. However, despite flashes of brilliance and a handful of memorable performances, Depay struggled to consistently impact games and failed to establish himself as a regular starter.

Read More: “Real worry…” Journalist reveals inside latest behind Luke Shaw’s England injury

His debut season saw him score just seven goals in all competitions as he battled with form and confidence issues. The arrival of José Mourinho in the summer of 2016 further limited Depay’s opportunities. Under Mourinho, he found himself on the fringes of the squad, making only a handful of appearances in the first half of the 2016-17 season.

Consequently, Depay’s time at Manchester United came to an end in January 2017 when he was sold to Ligue 1 outfit Olympique Lyonnais for just under £15 million. At Lyon, he was able to revitalise his career allowing him to continue as a talisman for the Dutch national team, as well as playing for both Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, where he is currently under contract.

Despite his inconsistencies in club football, Depay has been brilliant throughout his time with the Dutch national team, scoring 45 goals in 92 appearances. He is five strikes away from becoming their all-time top scorer, with Robin van Persie currently holding the crown with 50 international goals to his name.

Depay has always had a slight reputation for either having too much ego or not working hard enough to match his talents, but when Gary Lineker questioned him about this, former United player Wayne Rooney, who played with the Netherlands star at Old Trafford, mostly dismissed this.

“Yes and no, if I’m being honest,” Rooney said in response to Lineker’s question on the BBC ahead of the Netherlands’ fixture against France on Friday evening.

“I think, firstly, you could never knock his work rate and his attitude in training. He always came in, he worked really hard every single day to try and improve himself. And it was mainly a few things off the pitch.”

Rooney then continued, explaining a funny story surrounding a reserve fixture Depay featured in during his time at United.

“I spoke to him about turning up at a reserve game once and being a bit low-key. He turned up in a Rolls-Royce and a cowboy hat. That was Memphis, but I think here, if you look at it, he was more of a winger at Manchester United.

“He’s [now] adapted, changed his game, his movement is fantastic. He’s a threat at goal. Probably a little bit inconsistent over the last few years, but I think he’s always a player, and certainly a player that the French team will have to keep an eye on because he’s got a lot of ability.”

The fixture ended in a 0-0 stalemate that knocked Poland out of the competition.

Make sure to follow UtdDistrict on XInstagramFacebookYouTube, and TikTok to never miss out on any of our Manchester United content. Our podcast, What the Devil?, is released every Thursday at 6 pm (BST) on the United View YouTube channel.