Memphis Depay believes he is beginning to improve at Manchester United, with the winger rightfully laughing off pitiful criticisms of his fashion sense.
Depay has come in for plenty of criticism for his performances on the pitch in his debut season at Manchester United, but his decision to wear a hat has also attracted a pitifully negative response in his homeland of Holland.
Depay has since found first-team opportunities difficult to come by, but the 21-year-old feels he has overcome his “difficult” period and is fighting to regain his place.
“It’s of course difficult when you’re on the bench but it’s going better right now and it’s also going better on the training pitch. So if I get my chance to play, I will take it,” the winger told Dutch outlet NOS.
“I think lots of things changed. I’m in a new club right now, it’s a different level. Such things are playing a big role and you’re trying to find your way and it was a bit easy at the start but then I fell back and you could see it in the way I played. But you can assume that I’m busy working on that and getting back to the top.
“I feel fit and I’m trying to show on the training ground that I’m doing my best to perform well. People are used to see me score and that shall also come, it just takes a bit longer now but you’ll have to find that form again.”
Asked if the increase in media pressure was down to his poor form, Depay replied: “No, I don’t think so.
“People read a lot and the people close to me know what the truth it but the people outside of it just assume things. I’m still the same person I was when I played for PSV.”
Depay was then asked of the criticisms levelled at him for wearing a hat, to which the Dutchman responded: “It’s a hat. It’s just a hat and I like it.
“People say that when you wear a hat you’re walking next to your shoes but I know it’s not true. People who are close to the club and the Dutch national team know that’s not true, so I don’t really care what the people from outside my area think about it. They don’t know what I’m doing to try to come back to my best again and they only see a guy arriving at the national team wearing a hat and that’s it.
“What will change if I don’t wear my hat? People will still talk, if it’s not about my hat, they talk about me arriving late to the team bus which wasn’t true anyway. Such stories are getting shared and the Dutch media also talk about it but I couldn’t care less. I’m just busy with my career and I’m busy with becoming a better player.”
Holland head coach Danny Blind was among those who questioned Depay’s fashion choice, with Depay saying: “That’s his opinion. He doesn’t tell me I shouldn’t wear my hat. I also don’t tell other people what they should wear or not. People should wear whatever they want. Enough people wear a hat so I think people are overexaggerating a lot but the criticisms about me wearing a hat don’t get to me.”
Blind also claimed that Depay must become more of a “team player” to adapt at Manchester United and at international level, but Depay feels he is merely suffering from a dip in form.
“When I spoke to Danny Blind it was a very good conversation,” Depay said. “I think I’m a team player and the other players in the team also think that. I don’t think I’m in a difficult path of my career as the media are saying but I just think my form isn’t very good right now.
“I’m still working hard and just because I don’t show the exact form that I showed at the World Cup or last year, it doesn’t mean I don’t work hard. But right now I feel good again and other people don’t see what I’m doing in the training so people think I’m not busy with football. That’s not true.”