Memphis Depay was a player who promised so much but delivered so little following his arrival at Manchester United in 2015, but more than three years on since the transfer blunder it appears Ed Woodward is plotting a move for another rising star from PSV Eindhoven.
The Dutch Eredivisie is notorious for its unpredictability: players who thrive in Holland seldom emulate their form after moving to the Premier League – although there are notable exceptions to the rule in the shape of Luis Suarez, Robin Van Persie and Dirk Kuyt.
After finishing the 2014/15 campaign with an exceptional return of 22 goals and five assists from 30 Eredivisie appearances, United parted with £25 million to secure Memphis Depay’s signature in 2015.
His electric form in Holland convinced the vast majority of United supporters and football pundits to tip him for a glowing career at Old Trafford, but reality fell hopelessly short of the expectation which preceded his debut campaign.
But, despite Depay’s slump at United, which eventually resulted in a £21.7 million switch to Lyon just 18 months after he signed for the club, Woodward is interested in signing the next big thing to emerge at PSV, according to a recent report from De Telegraaf.
The report claims that United had scouts in attendance on Sunday afternoon to watch Steven Bergwijn in action against FC Emmen – a game in which the 21-year-old provided the assist for Angelino to put PSV 2-0 up with little under 20 minutes remaining.
Bergwijn’s assist took his assist tally to eight for the season from 17 fixtures, and combined with the nine league goals he’s scored this season it’s easy to understand why United are expressing an interest.
But, despite Bergwijn’s statistical credentials, Woodward must use the mistakes from his often shambolic transfer history to shape United’s policy moving forward.
With that said, a potential bid for Bergwijn should be abandoned until he has proven himself in one of Europe’s top leagues, as Depay’s inability to transfer his electric form in the Eredivisie to the Premier League proves how difficult it can be to make the gargantuan step up to a club of United’s international standing.
United’s disjointed and frankly incompetent approach to the transfer market in recent years suggests something has to change if they want to join Manchester City and Liverpool in the title race next season, but signing Bergwijn would merely represent a continuation of the flawed recruitment system which has seen United regress since Sir Alex Ferguson retired.
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