Memphis Depay continues to show why he’s one of Holland’s great talents

depay

With his goal in a 2-0 victory against NAC Breda yesterday, Memphis Depay became the first PSV Eindhoven player since the Brazilian, Ronaldo to score at least 30 league goals for PSV before he turned 21. With the form he’s in, that won’t be the last record the Netherlands international breaks anytime soon.

The left winger has played sensational this year, leading the Eredivisie in goals so far this campaign with 13 strikes, using his powerful right foot for most of them. Depay is also an excellent dribbler as last year he led his league in successful dribbles and can break down defenders with ease on the flanks. Even though his rise seems rapid in the soccer world, the 20-year-old’s talent has always been evident.

“Memphis is one of the greatest talents of the Netherlands, a very passionate and ambitious guy too. If he continues his development in this way, the club is going to have a lot of fun with him around,” said PSV technical manager Marcel Brands three years ago.

If you watch the 2012 KNVB Cup winner play, you’ll notice how aggressive he is and his work-rate immediately. Some believe that emotion comes from the lack of a relationship he has with his father. His dad is a Ghanaian and his mother Dutch, and they split when he was just four. After that, he hasn’t interacted with his father. PSV gave him a life coach early in his academy days to work on his personal issues and it helped him along with his grandfather, who filled the void of Memphis not having an active dad. In 2012, Depay decided to not use his last name on the back of his jersey anymore due to the lack of a relationship he has with his father and he’s continued to work on his game to reach his potential.

The 2013-14 season is when Memphis began to show his quality. Still a teenager, he scored 16 goals and added 10 assists in 43 appearances for the Rood Witten. That performance was good enough for Louis van Gaal to put him on the Dutch National team for the World Cup. The 2011 UEFA European Under-17 champion took advantage of the opportunity by scoring two goals in Brazil and was a factor in helping der Oranje get third place in the tournament.

Currently, PSV are leading the Eredivisie and are 12 points ahead of second place Ajax in the table. The Dutch giants haven’t won the league since 2008. If they can accomplish this with Depay leading them, then many of the major clubs in Europe will be looking to acquire him. PSV manager Phillip Cocu was happy Memphis decided to come back this year after his World Cup performance, but he knows that he won’t be able to coach the budding star for too long.

“Of course Memphis will be sold, you can’t stop that but it’s okay. It’s great you can build up a player like him, who breaks through, succeeds at PSV then leaves the club when he’s ready for a bigger step. That’s great. I really thought it would be the best for him if he stayed here with us this season. It’s important for him to play around 50 matches in a season before he makes the next step. Nothing else makes you a better player than a lot of games. He can become way better, he’s so explosive,” said Cocu to Helden Magazine.

PSV has helped produce eventual world-class players like Ronaldo, Ruud Gullit, Romario, Ruud van Nistelrooy and the man most similar to Memphis’s style of play, Arjen Robben. Memphis turns 21 next week and if he maintains his desire for greatness then his name will eventually be etched in history with the other PSV legends.

 

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