Netherlands legend Hans van Breukelen believes there are clear similarities between PSV winger Memphis Depay and former club stars such as Romario and Ruud Gullit.
Former Netherlands goalkeeper Hans van Breukelen has told De Telegraaf that PSV Eindhoven winger Memphis Depay is comparable to past club legends Romario and Ruud Gullit.
Depay, 20, has seen his future become the subject of on-going speculation following his impressive performances for the Dutch at the World Cup, with a host of top European clubs since linked to his signature.
While a move failed to materialise over the summer, rumours of a future reunion with Van Gaal at Manchester United have remained rampant over recent months, with the promising attacker netting 21 goals in 26 total appearances this season.
Van Gaal is reported to have made his compatriot the club’s number one transfer target come the end of the season, per the Sun, while Tottenham Hotspur were also eager to acquire his signature last month, according to the Daily Mirror.
Van Breukelen can understand the fanfare surrounding the 13-times capped international and, while he stresses that the likes of Romario and Gullit were more established names in the game during their time at the Philips Stadion, he believes there are clear similarities.
"Let me preface my comments by saying that to compare Memphis with players like Gullit and Romario looks unfair,” the ex-PSV keeper said. “He's only twenty, while they were older during their time at PSV and even further in their development.
“What Memphis does have in common with these players, though, is his ability to always make the difference.
“I'm often watching a PSV game, and then I think 'damn Memphis, why this or that?’ But when I look back at the highlights later, he appears to have been involved in virtually every dangerous moment.
“And the great thing is that he always conveys the belief that he is going to decide the match, even until the last minute. These are qualities that have now been discovered by rest of Europe."
Rated between £10 million and £15 million, Depay’s impressive form this season has helped fire PSV to the top of the Eredivisie table, 12 points ahead of second-place Ajax.
On course to win their first championship since 2008, manager Phillip Cocu has nevertheless conceded that his star man is certain to leave the club in the near future.
"Of course, Memphis will be sold. You will not be able to stop it, but it does not matter," he told Dutch magazine Helden in November. "It was nice to be able to form a player like him. I am also glad he stayed with us this season.
"It is important for him to play as many as 50 times in one season before making a big decision [to move to another club]. He can be better than [he is] now. He is very explosive."