Stoke City could come to the rescue of Memphis Depay’s fledgling Manchester United career after seeing Ibrahim Affelay ruled out for up to nine months.
Potters boss Mark Hughes has revealed he is to re-think his summer transfer plans after a freak training ground incident saw his 30-year-old Dutch forward snap his cruciate ligament.
Hughes is in the market for a replacement and with 22-year-old United man Memphis struggling to hold down a starting berth at Old Trafford a loan deal could suit all parties.
Reports suggest that Louis van Gaal has lost faith in his young countryman but after shelling out a small fortune on the former PSV winger the United board would like to avoid an embarrassing comedown by selling the player on at a loss so soon after his high-profile capture.
By sending Memphis on loan to what will then be the Bet365 Stadium the Red Devils could put themselves in a win-win situation.
Impress week-in, week-out for the Potters and Depay could either persuade Van Gaal – or his replacement – that he has a future or United, or failing that a solid showing should at least be enough to ensure United command a higher fee than they could currently expect for a player labelled a flop.
Depay arrived to much fanfare following a 22-goal season in Holland and a £30m transfer but, despite a couple of impressive European displays, has failed to live up to hype at Old Trafford.
The emergence of Jesse Lingard hasn’t helped the Dutchman’s cause but a run of games could see faith in his abilities restored and former United man Hughes could be just the manager to give him that opportunity.
The Potters are next in action at home to relegation-threatened Sunderland and after shipping four goal in each of their last three games Hughes’ men will be determined to turn things around.
The hosts go into the game as 6/4 marginal favourites, with a draw on at 9/4 and the Black Cats priced at 7/4 to pick up a crucial win.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.