Louis van Gaal has told the press that Manchester United need to sign “creative, speedy players in attack” in the January transfer window.
This could come as a hammer blow to Memphis Depay, who has been cast aside in recent weeks by his compatriot.
It seems as though Van Gaal has decided that Depay does not fit into his system – he has been dropped in favour of playing Anthony Martial on the left-wing, with Juan Mata operating on the right.
Martial is not a natural left-winger, and choosing him over Depay could suggest that Van Gaal has had enough of the Dutch winger.
This may be the case, given Depay’s last appearance was in the Old Trafford club’s staggering 3-0 collapse away from home against Arsenal.
Given Van Gaal is a systems based manager, preferring tactical understanding over individual brilliance, Depay, gifted and talented on the ball, would not get as much credit as with other bosses.
On Sunday, with Man Utd seeking a winner against Manchester City, Van Gaal put Jesse Lingard on rather than the former PSV Eindhoven man.
That would mean that Depay has been relegated to third choice left-winger.
It would also suggest that if Man Utd do sign “creative, speedy players” for their attack in January, it would only increase the competition for Depay.
Van Gaal has previous – while in charge of Barcelona, he dropped and then got rid of Rivaldo.
Even during his time at Old Trafford, he spent big money on Angel Di Maria, a player who barely featured after January.
This could all be taken as a worrying sign by Depay, who may start wondering where he will fit in after January.