Transfer Talk: Man United Strikes First
Transfer Talk: Man United Strikes First

This article is part of our Transfer Talk series.

With the Eredivisie season having come to a close Sunday, Dutch Golden Boot winner Memphis Depay has now traveled to have his medical at Manchester United ahead of a widely reported £25 million transfer from Holland's runaway title winners PSV Eindhoven.

Given Depay's imminent arrival at Old Trafford, the Premier League is verging on its first confirmed big-money signing of the upcoming summer transfer window.

While the silly season's usual carousel of moves is sure to follow, it's worthwhile to examine how Depay's addition could impact Manchester United, specifically considering the fantasy implications of their newest signing.

At just 20 years old, Depay was selected by then-Holland manager Louis van Gaal for last summer's World Cup in Brazil, where Depay would ultimately become his country's youngest goal-scorer in World Cup history.

In fact, Depay's first goal clinched an entertaining 3-2 win over Australia in Holland's second match of pool play. That performance was followed by another substitute goal from Depay in Holland's subsequent game against Chile, which helped land him on a shortlist with France's Raphael Varane and Paul Pogba for the tournament's Best Young Player award.

While Pogba would eventually claim that honor, Depay's displays inevitably impressed van Gaal, who took over at Manchester United following Holland's third-place finish, and will now be re-united with arguably his country's brightest upcoming talent.

As a dominating PSV side finished this season 17 points clear of second-place powers Ajax, Depay led the Eredivisie with 22 goals in 30 appearances. He also scored three times in six Europa League outings and dished out five assists to go with over five shot attempts per game on the season.

Judging by those numbers, Depay's ability to score from his left wing position will surely remind Manchester United supporters of Cristiano Ronaldo, though it's clearly wishful thinking that Depay will someday emulate the three-time World Player of the Year's accomplishments.

Nonetheless, Depay's style of play is at least basically reminiscent of Ronaldo, as both players are pacy inverted left-wingers that enjoy crafty dribbling sequences before usually cutting in on their preferred right foots.

Additionally, Depay too is a high-volume attacker, attempting shots with frequent regularity that includes lethal dead-ball capabilities.

While Depay's talent appears special at times, he'll still have to prove he can score outside of the Eredivisie. After all, it wasn't long ago that one Jozy Altidore notched 23 goals in 21 appearances for AZ Alkmaar during the 2012-13 campaign.

However, Depay's lofty price tag would suggest he's a starting-caliber player for a prestigious club like Manchester United, likely on the Red Devils' left side of attack. From there, van Gaal's familiarity with Depay should offer him a better transition to England than Angel di Maria, whose huge signing last summer could be followed by a move out already this summer. Should that transpire, Ashley Young's rejuvenated campaign would project him as Depay's chief competitor to start on Man United's left wing.

With proper nurturing and playing time from van Gaal, the dynamic Depay's development could foreseeably see him become a double-digit goal-scorer in the Premier League. For context, only six midfield-eligible players in fantasy leagues have reached at least 10 goals in the Premier League this season, and Manchester United's leading scorer, Wayne Rooney, has just 12 goals himself.

As a result, Depay's potential could instantly make him a top midfield consideration in fantasy leagues, as well as an outside candidate to push for Manchester United's leading goal tally next season.

Winter Window Roundup

While Depay will be afforded a full offseason to prepare for his new Premier League team, a pair of this season's biggest winter transfers were thrown into two of England's best squads without the luxury of such an extended adjustment period.

In fact, Manchester City's reported £28 million January signing, Wilfried Bony, participated for his native Ivory Coast in the Africa Cup of Nations before joining his new club teammates in the middle of this season.

Consequently, Bony has found his minutes few and far between at City, managing just two goals and one assist in 273 minutes for the Citizens this season. That drop-off in production comes after Bony led all Premiership players with 20 goals for Swansea City during the 2014 calendar year.

Second to Bony on that list was Manchester City's Sergio Aguero, who with 25 goals heading into the final week of this season, leads England's top-flight in scoring.

Next season, Bony figures to serve as City's second striker behind Aguero, but whether it's off the bench or in tandem may depend on who's in charge at the Etihad Stadium. No matter, it seems Bony is preferred ahead of fellow forwards Edin Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic, who could both leave the club this summer.

Although another star signing is never out of the picture at Manchester City, their rich rivals Chelsea fit the same mold when it comes to transfers.

For all of Jose Mourinho's good business in the transfer window, he's also had his share of fluffed dealings, with names like Andre Schurrle, Kevin De Bruyne and Mohamed Salah coming to mind since Mourinho rejoined Chelsea in June 2013.

As a result, the progress of the Blues' marquee winter signing, Juan Cuadrado, is somewhat concerning, as the former Fiorentina midfielder has played just 242 minutes in the Premier League and has yet to score or assist a single goal.

Of course, Cuadrado's sample size is relatively small, but considering Mourinho's well-established starting lineup, one has to wonder how Cuadrado will become a bigger factor for Chelsea next season.

Boasting a skill set similar to Mourinho-favorite Willian, the reported £24 million Cuadrado's 15 goals and nine assists in Serie A over the past season and a half evidence intriguing ability, but the Colombian will have to earn more consistent playing time to become a fantasy impact player as he enters his first English offseason this summer.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nick Pitner
Nick Pitner writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire. He supports Arsenal FC, the Green Bay Packers, and the New York Knicks, while specializing in those respective sports in his coverage for the site.
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