The PSV coach has backed his former charge in Eindhoven to shine with the Red Devils once the young striking talent gets used to his new surroundings in the Premier League
By Kris Voakes at Phillips Stadion
PSV coach Phillip Cocu insists Memphis Depay just needs a little time to become a Manchester United star as the two sides get set to face off in the Champions League on Tuesday.
United travel to the Phillips Stadion with Depay coming off the back of an underwhelming performance against Liverpool on Saturday which led to his substitution at half-time.
But the Netherlands star, who arrived at Old Trafford in a £22.3 million switch this summer, has been tipped for great things in the red shirt by his former PSV boss.
“I think each player will need some time to get used to a certain league like the Premier League, and I’m not surprised he has some ups and downs,” admitted Cocu at a pre-match press conference.
“But he’s also a player who is prepared to take risks in his actions. If he is not successful then he will get some criticism, but he can be decisive also. I’m sure when he’s played a few months he’ll get better and better, I’m convinced.”
Depay scored twice in the home leg of United’s 7-1 Champions League play-off win over Club Brugge. And while he is yet to find the net in five league fixtures, Cocu believes he has all the quality necessary to be a success in England.
“He will bring goals, he always likes to play towards the goal. He will not only score goals, but he also has vision, a good eye for other players, and he’s a player the opponent will put two players on meaning the rest of the players will benefit.
“It’s usual that in the Premier League you will need time to grow but he is very strong and is a quick learner also. With time he will pick it up very fast.”
Cocu comes up against his former Barcelona and Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal in Tuesday’s encounter. And while he admits they haven’t spoken much since their days working together, the former midfielder has defended the United boss’ style of play, which has come in for some criticism recently.
“Each team has its preferences and plays its own style,” added the 44-year-old. “We have our own style of playing football as part of our philosophy. They have very good quality in the team and are very strong on the ball and they don’t lose a lot of possession. The most important thing for us is that we make sure that we can use our qualities in the game.”
“We don’t have a lot of contact. We worked together in the national team and then at Barcelona when he was my coach. He made me a better player, the tactical skills, the way he worked with the team. Afterwards when I stopped playing, as a coach we met some times but we didn’t speak about how we play the game, or him giving me any advice.”