Memphis Depay might as well have been riding a meteor for the past year. He entered last Summer as an unknown to most of the mainstream soccer world, and made a name for himself at Brazil 2014 in a Dutch side that many thought would struggle to offer attacking options outside of the triumvirate of Wesley Sneijder, Arjen Robben, and Robin van Persie. He kept the momentum of his World Cup success going all season at his club side PSV Eindhoven, where he led the club and the league in scoring from his position on the wing, and was a major factor in winning the league title.
The coach that gave him a chance at Brazil has now done the same for him in the Premier League. Louis van Gaal has acquired the signature of the most coveted player in the Eredivisie, and it seems that he has fostered a sense of belief in the 21-year-old. Memphis Depay has said in unequivocal terms that he believes he can be the next Cristiano Ronaldo.
"I believe I can be one of the best players in the world. That's why I have my 'Dreamchaser' tattoo on my chest. I don't have a secret.”
"I heard people compare me to Cristiano Ronaldo. It's great to hear other people say that but I'm still 21 and I hope one day I can reach the level of Cristiano Ronaldo.”
Along with the show of confidence, Depay has said the right things in regards to his work ethic, his dreams, and his level of focus.
"You have to work on your dreams every day and that's what I am doing. I was very happy with my World Cup, but even when the World Cup was finished, I knew I had to keep very focused. That's what I spoke to my manager about. That's one of the keys to my success.”
"I'm very excited. I've always dreamt about the Premier League -- it's a big dream that's come true. But it's not the end of the dream -- it's just starting."
Depay is joining a United side that has very much lacked consistency through out 2014/15. There seems to be a piece missing from the red side of Manchester, and if Depay proves to be that missing piece he will undoubtedly become one of the most important players in the Premier League. The task is easier said than done, and it will likely require Depay to reach a Cristiano-Ronaldo-like level of play. In that regard, it is undoubtedly a good sign that the young man believes in himself. That self belief will go a long way towards enduring the pressure that goes along with being Manchester United’s next big thing.