The troubled starlet will only grow up in the presence of someone who is brutally honest in his evaluation of his qualities and faults, according to the 45-year-old
Former Netherlands international Pierre van Hooijdonk states Manchester United signing Memphis Depay needs “someone to be an a**hole to him” if he is to make progress.
The youngster has faltered after arriving at Old Trafford from PSV Eindhoven in the summer, and was dropped by Louis van Gaal for United’s 3-0 win at Everton at the weekend after failing to make the desired impact in the Premier League this season.
With his attitude and focus frequently questioned back in his native Netherlands, Van Hooijdonk has suggested that a mentor that gets tough with him may be the only remedy.
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,” the 45-year-old wrote in his column for Voetbal International.
“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.”
Last season’s Eredivisie top scorer has likewise failed to shine for Netherlands in their below-par Euro 2016 qualifying campaign.
And Van Hooijdonk believes an overhaul at national level may be in order if the Oranje are not to lose any more ground.
“Start again with a clean slate. There are players who worry more about their haircut then reaching the Euros,” he continued.
“You don’t need those guys, you can’t go to war with them. I would choose enthusiastic and motivated players.
“This is the chance to start all over again.”