Rio Ferdinand has discussed Memphis Depay and why he believes the ‘maverick’ forward failed during his spell at Manchester United.
Depay signed for Manchester United in a £25m deal from PSV Eindhoven in 2015 after starring during the Dutch side’s Eredivisie title success, finishing as the division’s leading scorer in his final season to earn a big move to the Premier League.
The youngster struggled to make an impact during 18 months at Old Trafford however, scoring just two league goals before being allowed to move on to Lyon.
Depay has since rebuilt his career in France and has emerged as a talismanic figure for the Netherlands national side, scoring 27 goals in 66 caps including the opener from the penalty spot as the Dutch beat Austria 2-0 at Euro 2020 on Thursday.
Ferdinand has now opened up on the 27-year-old and believes the forward’s ‘maverick’ personality perhaps prevented him from being accepted in an older dressing room.
“I think he’s a maverick,” Ferdinand said on BBC. “He’s a new-age type of personality who embraces everything of the lifestyle of a football player and beyond, and some people who are old school don’t like that and it’s taken time for someone even like me to adapt to that.”
Depay has scored 76 goals in just 178 appearances since making the move to French football, and looks set to sign for Barcelona on a free transfer this summer after leaving Lyon at the end of his contract.
As the star prepares for a second opportunity at one of Europe’s biggest clubs, Ferdinand questioned whether his move to Manchester came too soon in the developing forward’s career.
“I think it comes down to numerous things. Timing, the right time and right place, and maturity, he may have gone there too young.
“And coaching, the right coaching at the right time.”