Guus Hiddink has urged Manchester United’s senior players to help Memphis Depay adjust to the intensity and pressure of playing in the Premier League.
Expectations were high when United captured the 21-year-old for £31million after he scored 39 goals in 64 league appearances for PSV Eindhoven.
But Depay has struggled to make an impact under Louis van Gaal, and was substituted in United’s 2-0 defeat at Stoke after his error led to the Potters’ opening goal.
Hiddink’s Chelsea could face the Dutch forward when they tackle United in a 5.30pm clash at Old Trafford on Monday, with pressure mounting on van Gaal after four defeats on the trot.
But the Blues interim boss has urged United to give Depay time to adapt to the demands of the English top flight, saying it is nothing like he has ever experienced before.
Hiddink said: “He’s a very young guy. When he was in Holland he was one of the star players, at a very young age.
“There is a lack of star players in Holland who are playing already many years in their league so at a young age he was bombarded as one of the big talents.
“He has this talent but he’s also now having a confrontation with the demands of the Premier League, which are much higher in intensity of the game during 90 minutes.
“That’s a period all players, not just him, have to overcome, and I think they need time for that.
“He has this talent, but he’s also giving interviews saying ‘hey, I have to get used to another way of playing, the intensity of the games every three days, plus the intensity of the game’. Those guys, they need a bit the cover of experienced players.”