By Manchester correspondent Alex Stevens
Memphis Depay has hit back at criticism from Holland manager Danny Blind and insisted that he is a team player.
The £25million United summer signing was seen as the future of the Dutch national side but he has paid the price for a poor run of form for club and country and will not be involved in November friendlies against Wales and Germany.
Holland boss Blind, father of United player Daley Blind, has slammed Depay for his lack of team-work.
“In football you must also function in a team – and he doesn’t always do that,” explained Blind senior. “I told him that when I called him to say he wasn’t in the squad. It’s something he has to learn.”
Depay recognises his form has dipped – he has scored only one Premier League goal since joining from PSV Eindhoven – but says he has fitted in well to the team ethic demanded by Louis Van Gaal.
“Of course it’s difficult when you’re on the bench but it’s going better right now and it’s also going better on the training pitch,” Depay told TV reporters in Holland. “I might not be bringing that extra bit like at the World Cup, but I do think I’m playing as part of a team, and team mates think so too.
“So if I get my chance to play, I will take it. I think lots of things changed. I’m in a new club right now, it’s a different level [to the Eredivisie]. Such things are playing a big role and you’re trying to find your way and it was a bit easy at the start but then I fell back and you could see it in the way I played.
“But you can assume that I’m busy with working on that and getting back to the top.
‘I feel fit and I’m trying to show on the training ground that I’m doing my best to perform well. People are used to see me score and that shall also come, it just takes a bit longer now but you’ll have to find that form again.
Van Gaal insisted last week that United fans must be patient with Depay.
“I have said he is the greatest talent of his age but he is only 21 and you cannot expect consistency,” Van Gaal said. “He is at a stage of his career where he must adapt to many things. I’m convinced he’s coming back maybe stronger than before but we have to give him time, like we will with [Anthony] Martial when he is a little bit lower in his shape.”