Jose Mourinho has revealed why he decided to keep Memphis Depay on the sidelines for nearly a year. The Portuguese coach has rarely used his Dutch winger, and the reason for this decision stems from lack of commitment.
“The Special One” said he lost interest in his player immediately after the 22-year-old made known his intentions to leave Old Trafford.
Though Depay claimed he asked for a transfer due to lack of playing time and an alleged rift between him and Mourinho, the former Real Madrid coach denied having any grudges against his player.
Mourinho kept the Holland international footballer as an unused substitute during Manchester United’s tensed Europa League match against Zorya Luhansk in September, but argued that Tim Fosu-Mensah’s injury was the main reason he couldn’t field Memphis.
“I planned to give Memphis [Depay] 20 minutes [against Zorya Luhansk] but I couldn’t with the way I had to make the changes and the problem with Tim Fosu-Mensah meant I had to play a right-back [Ashley Young],” the coach said at that time.
There are wide speculations in the media that Depay could be on his way out by January. Since the start of this 2016-17 season, he has earned only a start in United’s EFL Cup fixture against Northampton.
Depay arrived Old Trafford from PSV Eindhoven in 2015 after a successful £25m transfer deal. His purchase was championed by Louis van Gaal, who led Holland to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Everton could be Depay’s next stop for as little as £12m, media reports confirm.
Mourinho told UK’s Daily Star: “I have to say that in the past couple of months my decisions in relation to Memphis were influenced by the feelings and information that he would like to leave in January – and that we were going to have a real offer that we would be willing to accept.
“That obviously influences me. If I know, if I have the feeling that a player is leaving – if I have to give chances and develop other players – then I go to (Jesse) Lingard, (Henrikh) Mkhitaryan and (Anthony) Martial.
“The players I know 100 per cent who are going to stay with us. It is a position where we have more options.”
Last October, Depay told reporters that his United woes started from recurring injuries which challenged his first team spot. He denied having personal issues with Mourinho.
“The training sessions are going well, I’m sharp and fit. But that applies to everyone,” Depay told reporters.
“The level has become higher. Jose Mourinho is a top coach.
“The feeling is different, Mourinho has expressed confidence in me. Personally, but also in the press.”