The Guardian today reports that Liverpool are set to go head-to-head with rivals Manchester United for the potential signature of highly-rated Dutch star Memphis Depay this summer.
The PSV Eindhoven starlet has played a crucial role in the club’s Eredivisie title success this season, while he has developed into one of the most exciting young prospects in European football over the last 18 months.
Depay is widely expected to leave his homeland this summer after showing this term that he is ready for a move to a top club overseas – he is the Dutch top flight’s leading scorer with 20 goals this season.
While Tottenham are acknowledged as having a bid for Depay rejected last year, the latest report suggests that the race for the attacker’s signature will be a straight shootout between the Anfield and Old Trafford outfits.
There is certainly a case to suggest that both Premier League clubs need the flying Dutch winger, while he has all the positive attributes to be a real star at both.
However, in the grand scheme of things, Liverpool are in a situation where they need someone of Depay’s emerging abilities to reignite Brendan Rodgers’ reign at the club.
Louis van Gaal’s personal relationship with his compatriot will be a telling factor, as the United boss included the starlet in his Netherlands squad for last summer’s World Cup.
United are all but guaranteed Champions League football while Liverpool look unlikely to secure it and the Manchester club seem set for a summer revamp of their playing squad.
Looking at it objectively, despite a potential lack of Champions League football, Liverpool may well be a better choice for Depay.
A move to United would not see the youngster guaranteed first-team football given the presence of a multitude of similar players at Old Trafford, while at the Merseyside club Depay would surely be one of the star performers.
In Rodgers’ bespoke 3-4-3 formation, seeing the pace and trickery of Depay alongside Philippe Coutinho and Raheem Sterling would be a daunting proposition for Liverpool’s opposition.
After tame elimination from the FA Cup and a dip in league form, Rodgers is starting to feel the heat and needs reasons for the Anfield contingent to feel optimistic about next season.
Depay’s signature would surely be a real boost for the Merseyside club, especially if they were to trump United to land him.
Liverpool’s recent recruitment has had more flops than successes, with a host of the attacking reinforcements signed to fill the void left by Luis Suarez failing to live up to their billing.
Finally, with the Reds facing a tough situation over Sterling’s uncertain future, signing someone of the Dutchman’s calibre would reduce the club’s dependence on the contract rebel.
Depay has all the attributes to be one of the Premier League’s best attackers if given time to adjust to his new environment.
If Liverpool can land the star it could be the acquisition to fire them back amongst England’s elite; losing out on him to United would be another significant reason for the Anfield faithful to feel frustrated about the state of their football club.