Dutch winger Memphis Depay is determined to do justice to the iconic No 7 shirt at English football club Manchester United, but has been told to save his tricks for the right moment.
After Argentine international Angel Di Maria left for Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), Depay has been told to wear the No 7 shirt that was made famous by United greats like George Best, Eric Cantona, David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo and Bryan Robson.
But chief coach Louis van Gaal advised the former PSV Eindhoven star Depay to be grounded and reminded the 21-year-old to only take risks in the final third of the pitch.
“I know the history about the number. I appreciate it but I want to be my own man. I want to show that I can wear it with pride,” Depay was quoted as saying by dailymail.co.uk.
“Last year I played with No 7 (for PSV) and I scored a lot of goals so I’m confident with that number. What I did last year, I want to do for Manchester United,” the 25 million pound signing added.
“I want to bring creative things and goals but, yes of course, I have to play with discipline in midfield. I can’t lose the ball too much. I can take risks on the side when I come in the third phase, then I can make my tricks.”
Depay made his official debut in Saturday’s 1-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur.
“It was a good experience, different to playing in the PSV stadium. It’s the biggest stadium I’ve ever played in. The stadium and pitch is bigger, and everything goes faster, but that is what I like about the English Premier League.”
Van Gaal knows there is more to come from Depay after playing the winger in a more central role behind Wayne Rooney on his debut.
“I told Memphis not to be too eager and passionate. New players, especially young players, want to show their qualities. The first time you play at Old Trafford (stadium) it is always difficult. Memphis has speed but he has to learn when he has to go and when he doesn’t have to go,” the Dutchman said.