Twenty-one year old Dutch winger Memphis Depay has been touted as one of the most promising young talents in Europe. When Manchester United brought him over this summer from PSV Eindhoven, it was widely seen as one of the most important deals in this transfer window and a clear statement of intent from the Red Devils. Yet after two league fixtures, Memphis had yet to score for his new club (despite some promising chances and near misses), and, football journalism being what it is, there was a lot of concern trolling in recent days about whether he’d eventually come good.
Yeah, he’s going to do just fine.
After going down 1-0 to Club Brugge in their Champions League playoff qualifier—a game which marks United’s return to Europe’s biggest stage after a season-long absence—Memphis scored two just before halftime to soothe the nerves of the home fans. The first goal saw the Dutchman practically dragging several defenders with him in the box while he found an opening to shoot, and then burying it into the lower right corner. The second had him receive a beautiful ball from Daley Blind, fake out his marker, and let rip from about 20 yards.
United would post a third goal in second half stoppage time thanks to Marouane Fellaini to give them a nice cushion heading into the second leg next week. But just as importantly, Memphis’ goals put a lot of naysayers on mute. The young man has the potential to be one of the top players in both England and Europe— and yesterday we may well have seen his overture.