Memphis Depay will not temper his celebration if he scores for Manchester United against his old club PSV.
Depay will return to the Philips Stadion for the first time on Tuesday since his £25 million move from PSV to Old Trafford. The Dutchman spent nine years at the club, rising through the youth ranks before becoming a first-team star.
The club holds a special place in the 21-year-old’s heart, but that will not stop him from celebrating with all his might if he finds the net in Eindhoven during Tuesday’s Champions League group stage encounter.
“For me it’s a game, so if I score I will celebrate,” the United forward said.
“I have respect for PSV but I am a Manchester United player now.”
With that kind of ruthless attitude, it is easy to see why Depay was top scorer in the Eredivisie with 22 goals last season. That haul helped PSV to their first title in seven years, but this year he is yet to find the net for United in the Premier League.
Louis van Gaal substituted Depay at halftime in Saturday’s 3-1 win over Liverpool.
Depay earned a reputation as something of a hot head at times during his time in Holland, but he did not lash out at van Gaal for taking him off at half-time.
“I think my reaction was good,” he said.
“I will improve in training, keep my head up and work on it and I think I can do better in games.”
Depay has an unwavering belief in van Gaal, who handed him his debut for Holland and then took him to the World Cup even though he was yet to star for PSV, and the feeling is mutual, it seems.
Van Gaal said:
“As a manager you are never satisfied but he is doing well.
“He has played every game until now, but it’s not so easy. It’s a high rhythm in the Premier League but he has to adapt to that high rhythm and he shall improve I think.
“I have to be patient for Memphis and the fans do also.”
There was no inkling that Depay would be taking Tuesday’s group stage match lightly despite his links with the club.
Former PSV coach Aad de Mos did Depay a favor in some ways by claiming he would be “eaten raw” and “wiped out” by his former teammate Santiago Arias.
If those words angered Depay, he was not willing to show as much in public.
“That’s not wise to react to that,” Depay said.
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