Manchester United made early waves in the transfer market by signing Memphis Depay from PSV Eindhoven on the same day that Yaya Toure‘s agent announced that he is “90% certain” to leave Manchester City this summer.
It was a contrast of fortunes which could shape this summer’s transfer window.
With City in desperate need of a re-build, they should be the ones looking to act quickly this summer. Their squad is ageing and needs a strong injection of youth.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side have barely changed in the last four years and are in danger of growing old together. It says it all that 26-year-old Sergio Aguero was their second youngest player in last weekend's win over Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League.
That is why it was a huge surprise that Depay was not on their wish-list and that City did not challenge United for the 21-year-old’s signature. He is one of the most promising young talents on the continent, and that type of signing is exactly what City need.
City require some fresh energy in their side, especially in wide areas and Depay would have suited them perfectly. With the likes of Jesus Navas and Samir Nasri struggling for form all season, that is an area which will need looking at.
Instead it is United who will benefit from the 21-goal winger, who has the potential to become one of the best players in the world.
Depay is a direct and exciting young winger in the mould of Cristiano Ronaldo. Although he is still raw and does require some coaching to improve his decision-making in the final third, it seems absurd for an ambitious side such as City not to have challenged United all the way.
Perhaps they were simply beaten to the punch or knew that Depay was always destined to choose United and in particular, Louis van Gaal, who was his coach during a successful World Cup campaign, but it does seem strange that they were never strongly linked.