Jose Mourinho has discussed the reasons why Manchester United have sold Memphis Depay to Lyon and why the club have inserted a buy-back clause in the deal.
The Holland winger completed his move to the Ligue 1 side on Friday afternoon after failing to made the grade in 18 months at Old Trafford.
Depay was signed by Louis van Gaal in summer 2015 but the 22-year-old has played only 20 minutes in the Premier League under Mourinho.
The United boss revealed on Friday why he was willing to allow Depay to leave.
“He’s a player from one position, the only position where we have overbooking,” said Mourinho.
“He’s a winger and wingers are what we have more of. So he was the position where it’s more difficult to have chances, where it’s more difficult to be the next choice because it is a position where we never have problems.
“We have Lingard, Mata, we have Mkhitaryan, we have Martial, Ashley Young, we have Marcus Rashford, it’s a position where we have six possibilities. Even Rooney sometimes played from the left.
“It’s a position where we have difficulties when we want to do rotation. When we try to rest some players, and try and play some in the Europa League, others in the League Cup and other ones against Reading in the FA Cup, even when I do rotation, I have seven guys for two positions.
“So I would say these two things about him – on one side he is a fantastic professional and on the other side, we had too many players in this position.”
— Memphis (@Memphis) January 20, 2017
United have first refusal on Depay should Lyon sell the winger and Mourinho says the clause makes sense.
“Of course because potentially he’s a very good player,” he said.
“When Mr van Gaal decided to buy him, he knew him very well from the national team.
“In the World Cup he had flashes of top quality. He was playing well in Holland. We know that the Dutch league is not the same, but he was showing very good things.
“I think Mr van Gaal and Manchester United did very well to buy him. It did not succeed in these 18 months, I would say, but he’s very young and I would say it’s very important for the club to have control of his talent.
“We all wish he plays very, very well at Lyon and why not then come back because everyone here likes him.”