Louis van Gaal: Memphis Depay has to adapt to No.10 role

by Leo Nieboer

Louis van Gaal believes Memphis Depay still ‘has to adapt’ to the No.10 role at Manchester United.

Last season at PSV, Memphis was used predominantly as a left-winger and that was the role everybody expected him to play in after completing his move to Old Trafford this summer.

However, Memphis was used in the No.10 role behind striker Wayne Rooney for all four pre-season games and started the season opener against Spurs in that slot as well.

After Man United’s opening day victory over Spurs, Van Gaal outlined that Memphis still needed to improve as a No.10.

“It is a new position for him and he has to adapt to the new position because he is a goalscoring type,” said Van Gaal.

“But we have to wait and see if he can fulfil the demands of this position but that’s also because Ashley Young is playing very good on the left side.

“Therefore that is the circumstances now but it can change during the season. He can play in this position.

“Memphis has speed. He didn’t show that too much (against Tottenham) but he has to learn that also that when he has to go and when he doesn’t have to go.

“We didn’t have much of the ball. It is not only because of him but also his fellow players.”

Memphis’ deployment as a No.10 has left most fans scratching their heads. As somebody who wreaked havoc on the wing for PSV, playing the Dutchman through the middle is certainly a strange move by Van Gaal in order to accommodate Young.

United were suffocated by a lack of penetration on the wing against Spurs as Young was stifled more often than not when it came to the final ball. Using the skilful Memphis, who has far more unpredictability to his game, would surely give United much more of a dynamic.

While Van Gaal appears typically stubborn in his decision to deploy Memphis through the middle, it seems clear that United fans will see the best of the Dutch youngster when let loose on the wing against tiring fullbacks.

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