United turn to Depay as striker crisis grows
Memphis Depay is set to be handed the chance to solve Manchester United's striker crisis today after Louis van Gaal's admission that the £25m winger is now behind Jesse Lingard in the pecking order at Old Trafford.
With Anthony Martial ruled out of the trip to Watford with a bruised foot and Van Gaal claiming that captain Wayne Rooney will miss the game with a virus, Depay and teenager James Wilson are the only available contenders to lead the line for United at Vicarage Road.
Having been omitted from Van Gaal's starting line-up since the 3-0 defeat at Arsenal in early October, Depay has struggled to reclaim his place due to Lingard's emergence. The 21-year-old summer signing from PSV Eindhoven has also been publicly criticised by Holland coach Danny Blind for failing to perform like a 'team player' during international duty with the Dutch.
But with Rooney and Martial out, and emergency forward Marouane Fellaini also injured, Depay is likely to return to action today with Van Gaal admitting that the youngster has been a disappointment so far.
"Of course [I expected more from him], because otherwise he would still be in the team," Van Gaal said.
"Otherwise I don't look for another solution and I look for another solution in my team. I have kept Jesse Lingard for example for that option, so now he [Depay] has to fight back and he does it, so I am satisfied.
"He is always looking very good in training, but players in that age are not consistent.
"I don't have any problems with players but sometimes they are out of the selection because their competitor is in that moment in a better shape, but that doesn't mean that I have a quarrel with the player. It's a matter of form."
Watford v Manchester Utd, Live, BT Sport 1, 12.45