According to the Daily Mail Memphis Depay is expected to be the first of many big-money signings at Manchester United this summer.
The paper have published a projected Red Devils XI for the 2015/16 campaign which includes the Dutchman alongside potential purchases Nathaniel Clyne and Borussia Dortmund pair Mats Hummels and Ilkay Gundogan.
However, something about their graphic doesn’t look quite right…
Don’t doubt for one second that such a splurge is beyond a club of United’s wealth and international standing though, instead it’s the 3-4-1-2 setup the mid-sheet has chosen to display the XI which is problematic.
While Depay – 17/20 to bag over 10.5 league goals in 2015/16 – can play wide forward on either side or a central striker, he has shot to prominence this season playing almost exclusively on the left-hand side of a 4-3-3 at PSV Eindhoven.
Dutch journalist Thijs Slegers agreed that this was his best position in conversation with the BBC, saying:
“He’s versatile but his best position is left outside, cutting inside to the right side.”
Positioning the 21-year-old as one of the two strikers in a 3-4-1-2 could hardly guarantee he would reproduce the form that has earned his £25m move as a result.
Instead Louis van Gaal would need to switch to a 4-3-3 to get the best out of his new recruit.
Luckily, it happens to be the formation the United manager regards as his ideal setup at Old Trafford.
Speaking after the watershed 3-0 win over Tottenham in March he told the Telegraph’s Henry Winter:
‘The system we play now is the system that I prefer, that I have played everywhere. Yesterday (against Spurs) is my preferred system. Yesterday was 4-3-3 when we had the ball.’
An exciting by-product of the move maybe Angel Di Maria’s return to the middle-band berth in which he produced a breathtaking 2013/14 campaign at Real Madrid, arguably earning man of the match in the Champions League final.
United are 9/10 to defeat Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park this weekend.