Rio Ferdinand thinks Memphis Depay flopped at Man Utd because of “numerous things” after watching him star for the Netherlands at Euro 2020.
Depay’s early penalty and Denzel Dumfries’ second goal of the tournament in a 2-0 win over Austria on Thursday night booked the Netherlands’ spot in the knockout stages with a game to spare.
The Dutch forward is trying to remain focused despite his impending move to Barcelona with his contract at Lyon coming to an end.
The 27-year-old is expected to move to the Nou Camp on a free transfer once his deal at the French club expires at the end of the month.
Depay failed to reach his true potential in an 18-month spell at Man Utd from 2015 to 2017 with the Dutchman managing just seven goals from 53 appearances.
And former Man Utd defender Ferdinand reckons there were at least six factors as to why he struggled during his time at Old Trafford.
“I think he’s a maverick,” Ferdinand told BBC Sport.
“He’s a new-age type of personality who embraces everything of the lifestyle of a football player and beyond, and some people who are old school don’t like that and it’s taken time for someone even like me to adapt to that.”
Asked why he failed to make an impact at Old Trafford, Ferdinand added: “I think it comes down to numerous things.
“Timing, the right time and right place, and maturity, he may have gone there too young.
“And coaching, the right coaching at the right time.”
Depay told L’Equipe: “It [Lyon] will be in my heart, a part of my life. I thought about adding a tattoo: a souvenir or a date. Coming here was a great decision.
“People would say to me: ‘But why are you leaving Manchester United? A new coach will arrive, you in the biggest club in the world…’ In their place, I would have been sad to see a player wasting good years by staying at a big club and playing too little. There, I lost my joy, and my football. Here, I found them.”
Speaking in 2018, Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas explained how the French giants had managed to get the best out of the 27-year-old in a way Man Utd could not.
“I told him we like him a lot,” Aulas said. “He’s a boy who needs love. He’s able to change a match at any time, like he did against Paris.
“He made amazing technical moves, some helping the club and the result, and sometimes frustrating us.
“With his technique, he brings things that have rarely been seen in Lyon. With his personality, we can only love him, even if sometimes he frustrates us.”