Manchester United star Memphis Depay just needs a bit of tough love, according to his compatriot Pierre van Hooijdonk.
Depay, a £25 million summer signing from PSV, has showed flashes of talent since arriving from Holland, but has struggled for form of late.
He was dropped for the weekend win over Everton, with the impressive Anthony Martial taking his place in the 3-0 win. And he was them omitted from the squad for Wednesday night’s 1-1 draw away to CSKA Moscow in the Champions League, with youngster Jesse Lingaard earning a starting spot.
And former Celtic star van Hooijdonk, who won 46 caps for the Netherlands during an illustrious playing career, reckons his fellow Dutchman just needs someone to be a bit nasty to him, or a bit of a “a**hole”, to be precise.
In his weekly column for Voetbal International, van Hooijdonk said:
What to do with a guy like Memphis? The national team coach knows he needs him in the future. It’s obvious that he has exceptional qualities.
But he needs a type that says: Friend, act normal. Quit screwing around and start playing football. Someone needs to be an a**hole to him.
It’s possible that he will turn against you if you say something about his qualities or his behaviour. Worst case: he doesn’t run for you at all.
There are players who worry more about their haircut then reaching the Euros.
You don’t need those guys, you can’t go to war with them.
All eyes will be on Louis van Gaal’s team sheet on Sunday, when bitter rivals Manchester City come calling to Old Trafford, with United seeking to overtake their rivals and leapfrog them into first place.
Will Depay regain his starting spot? Watch this space!