Everton manager Ronald Koeman will have to swallow his own words if he is to push through a January deal for unwanted Manchester United winger Memphis Depay.
The Toffees are one of a number of sides tipped to make a move for Dutch winger Depay in January, with the likes of AC Milan and Marseille also keen, while Saturday’s papers suggested Juventus also sent a scout to watch him in action for Holland in midweek.
Depay has featured seven times for Manchester United this season but has played for just 20 minutes in the Premier League after four brief substitute appearances under Jose Mourinho.
And with United seemingly prepared to let him leave in January, a move to Everton looks very much a distinct possibility.
However, Toffees boss Koeman will have to go against his own instincts if he is to push through a deal.
Koeman tracked the player for a number of years as a scout and was markedly unimpressed by him. Depay was playing against FC Twente for his former club PSV Eindhoven in an under 16s game and Koeman recalled some pretty stark observations.
“I always work with a list of five specific qualities: skills, tactics, physique, attitude, personality. I did not get any higher with my average ratings than 5.6 out of 10,” he told the Sunday Mirror last year.
“And you know what brought the rating down most of all? The rating for his personality.
“It is only because of the fact that I could not go any lower than zero out of 10, otherwise I would have rated him well below that.
“It was absolutely disgusting, the foul language that boy used towards his fellow players and towards people in the crowd.”
And Koeman’s berating didn’t stop there. His verdict on young Dutch players as a whole and the transition they make from the Dutch Eredivisie to the Premier League was almost as bleak.
“I have learnt, while I am here in England, that Dutch players can’t make the jump to the top of the Premier League easily.
“And I see another lack of quality with the Dutch kids, that I have also noticed with other young stars in the Premier League: they don’t communicate. They behave like individuals. Stuck to their smart phones.”
Koeman was linked with Depay while Southampton boss and it remains to be seen whether it’ll be second time lucky when the transfer window opens in January.