The announcement last week of the transfer of Memphis Depay to Manchester United has left PSV with a significant hole to fill. Luckily for PSV, they have money in the bank now in order to try and fill this hole. We all know and appreciate Memphis’ talents and he might be one of those once in a generation footballers but PSV need to ask the question “How do we Replace Memphis”? Even with Memphis leaving, PSV still have a very talented side but they will certainly miss the X-Factor that he provided. Replacing Memphis will be a hard task but there are some options at PSV’s disposal. Rogier Waalder looks at the candidates:
Jesus Manuel Corona (FC Twente)
One of the only players in the Eredivisie this year who catches the eye as much as Depay does, is the Mexican winger Jesus Corona, who plays for FC Twente. A very tricky and skilful winger, he certainly has the ability to turn a game like Memphis does. He has scored 13 goals in his 32 games this season and his dribbling, first touch and technique are in the same class as Memphis. He does lack the power and free-kick abilities of Memphis but is only 22 years old. FC Twente will be holding a fire-sale in the summer to clear their debts and so Corona is very much on the market. A big stumbling block, though, is his wage demands with a recent poll showing that 85% of PSV fans do not think he is worth the reported 1 million EURO salary that he is after.
Sam Larsson (SC Heerenveen)
Swedish international Larsson is a new arrival to Heerenveen this season, after joining from Goteburg in the off-season. He has proven to be yet another potential Scandinavian jewel that the Heerenveen scouting team has delivered over the years. Has all the same hallmarks as Corona but represents a more powerful, cheaper option. Larsson has contributed 8 goals and 6 assists in his 20 games this season. Heerenveen have already offered him a new contract, but he has refused to consider this at present. He has a contract until 2018 so Heerenveen aren’t in any rush to sell but PSV might be tempted to make them an offer they can’t refuse.
Ricardo Kishna (Ajax)
Yes he plays for Ajax presently and yes this is probably the biggest obstacle in Kishna going to PSV, but transfers between PSV & Ajax are not unheard of. Kishna is a year younger than Memphis and despite his young age has already proven that he can light up the Eredivisie. His flair, trickery, dribbling and pace are very comparable to Memphis and he has a return of 5 goals and assists from 20 matches this season. This current Dutch youth team player only has 1 year to run on his Ajax contract, so he could force the issue if PSV make a serious play for his services.
Elvis Manu (Feyenoord)
Plays for Feyenoord, so again some question marks surrounding a desire to sell him to PSV but he also has the hallmarks of someone who could replace Memphis. A 21-year old natural Left Winger, Manu has had a good season for Feyenoord with 14 goals in 34 matches, including some great performances in the Europa League. Manu has great pace and strength but his overall technique and consistency would need some improvement to reach Memphis levels but definitely a great raw talent.
Steven Berghuis (AZ Alkmaar)
Berghuis has been a standout performer for AZ this season with 10 goals in 22 appearances. The former Twente youth player can play on either wing or as Striker and has excellent technical and passing abilities. He has a strong desire to succeed (much like Memphis does) and would arguably be the cheapest of the options presented thus far. He probably isn’t quite at the standard that Memphis is but would be a good squad player, in conjunction with another big name signing.
Bilal Ould-Chikh (FC Twente)
If PSV are looking at a longer term prospect that they can bring up to Memphis’ standard then Ould-Chikh might be their guy. Only 17 years old he has already played 15 full games for FC Twente this season. An out and out winger with great technique, pace and dribbling abilities Ould-Chikh certainly has the potential to rival Memphis one day. FC Twente might be needing cash to satisfy their creditors at the moment, but surely they’ll want to hang on to their star prospect and try and build a team around him.
Adnan Januzaj (Manchester United)
Januzaj has been on the outer at Manchester United since Van Gaal’s arrival and was rumoured to have been offered as part of any deal taking Memphis to England. It doesn’t look like this has eventuated but a cashed up PSV could do a lot worse than taking the talented Belgian to Eindhoven, even if it is on loan. Even though he has not scored in the Premier League this year, the footballing world is very aware of Januzaj’s abilities with a ball at his feet and his technique and flair do rival those of Memphis. He is on a massive salary at Man Utd and this is why a loan move but be the best for both teams, particularly as Memphis will certainly be a direct rival for Januzaj.
Serge Gnabry (Arsenal)
Another potential loan option is the Arsenal youngster, Serge Gnabry. Like Januzaj Gnabry burst onto the scene last season before injury curtailed his plans and has had limited game time since. He may be best suited to a spell in the Eredivisie, whilst also getting guaranteed Champions League action. Gnabry has fantastic physical attributes and his attacking tendancies would be very well suited to this PSV side.
Ola John (Benfica)
For a 22-year old John seems to have been around for a long time, and certainly his club movements would indicate the same. Currently at Benfica, the lure of returning home to PSV may be one that suits John as he looks to break back into the Dutch national team setup. Another out and out pacy winger John could be the perfect provider for Luuk de Jong.
Filip Kostic (Stuttgart)
22-year old Serbian Kostic played 2 seasons in the Eredivisie with Groningen before earning a move to Stuttgart in the off-season. He has played reasonably well in a struggling side with 3 goals and 7 assists thus far. He has tremendous cross abilities and is also an accomplished finisher. If Stuttgart do get relegated this season this might be enough to convince Kostic to return to the Netherlands and the lure of Champions League football.
There are some options available internally at PSV at present headlined by the wantaway Zakaria Bakkali and the raw but very inconsistent Florian Jozefzoon. A long term potential replacement is the exciting young Steven Bergwijn, who made his Eredivisie debut on the weekend at the age of 17. Bergwijn is very highly thought of at PSV and has tremendous pace and acceleration. If his technical abilities continue to develop over the next few seasons he is definitely one to watch.
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