Ligue 1

Lyon unveil Dutch winger Memphis Depay

Lyon unveil Dutch winger Memphis Depay

Ligue 1 club Olympique Lyonnais have signed Dutch winger Memphis Depay from Manchester United on a four and a half year contract.

Lyon paid 16 million euros ($17 million) for the 22-year-old Netherlands international.

Memphis scored seven goals in 53 appearances for United after moving from PSV Eindhoven for 25 million pounds ($30 million) in May, 2015 but has struggled to get playing time under new Man United boss Jose Mourinho.

“He was a fantastic professional,” United manager Jose Mourinho told a news conference. “If someone thinks it didn’t work because he wasn’t a great professional, that’s totally wrong.”

Memphis was the leading scorer in the Dutch top flight in 2014-15 and was signed by former United manager Louis van Gaal.

Mourinho stressed that Depay, like Morgan Schneiderlin, was allowed to leave because good offers came in.

“I wasn’t looking to offload anyone,” the Portuguese said. “But Lyon and Everton made good offers, they fought to secure the players they wanted.

Under Jose Mourinho Depay has fallen down the pecking order among the club’s wide players, behind the likes of Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Juan Mata, Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard.

“When Mr Van Gaal bought him, he did well,” Mourinho said, adding that United had inserted a buy-back clause into the deal with Lyon.

Lyon’s new £16m signing Memphis Depay shares a joke with club president Jean-Michel Aulas, left, as head coach Bruno Genesio looks on. Photograph: Philippe Desmazes/AFP/Getty Images

“He didn’t succeed in these 18 months, but he’s very young. It’s important for the club to keep control of this talent and we wish that he plays very well at Lyon. Why not come back here, as everybody likes him.”

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