Sold for just £16m, now valued at £49.5m: LVG flop has thrived since leaving Man Utd – opinion

Louis van Gaal’s spell at Manchester United was a memorable one, if not for the right reasons.

The Dutchman spent just two years at Old Trafford and, whilst he did win one trophy, he will likely be remembered for his antics on the touchline and in and around the club – from his hilarious “dive” to his drunken speech at the club’s End of Season awards.

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His transfer record was far from funny, though.

Several of the new recruits brought in by the former Netherlands manager flattered to deceive, such as Angel Di Maria and Memphis Depay.

The latter, though, is now flourishing in Ligue 1 with Lyon.

Let’s see how he is getting on…

Time at Manchester United

When van Gaal took his compatriot to the Premier League, he was one of the most exciting young prospects in European football. He had just scored 28 goals in 40 matches for PSV, whilst he bagged two in four appearances at the 2014 World Cup as a 20-year-old.

The £25m they spent on him looked to be a sound investment, but that proved not to be the case. His first campaign, the 2015/16 season, saw him make 45 appearances but score just seven goals, whilst he managed only seven assists as well.

As van Gaal left at the end of the term, Depay’s playing time was to be considerably reduced under new boss Jose Mourinho – he played just eight times before being sold to Lyon in January 2017.

Les Gones paid £16m, meaning the Red Devils made a 36% loss on his sale.

Where is he now?

Straight away, the 26-year-old started making up for lost time in France, scoring five times and providing eight assists in 17 Ligue 1 fixtures in the second half of the season.

The next term, his performances went up another level. His 36 appearances in the league saw him bag 19 times and provide 13 assists, whilst he managed three of each in the Europa League in 10 games.

All in all, his season tally stood at 22 goals and 17 assists in all competitions.

There was a slight decrease in the quality of his performances in the next campaign, but he still managed an impressive 12 strikes and 17 goals created in 47 matches. And this term was arguably his most eye-catching before his cruciate ligament rupture in December. In 16 games, he picked up 14 goals and two assists, with him bagging five in as many Champions League clashes.

The fact he is now captain of the club says all you need to know about his stature in France.

Now valued at £49.5m by Transfermarkt, United will be kicking themselves that he failed to hit those heights in Manchester.

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