Memphis Depay on Louis van Gaal and winning the Premier League

By Simon StoneBBC Sport
Van Gaal makes me stronger - Depay

Manchester United forward Memphis Depay says his new boss Louis van Gaal is a "great manager" who can make players better - and is the reason he chose to join the club over Paris St-Germain.

The £31m summer signing from PSV Eindhoven said he improves with every training session under his compatriot.

In a wide-ranging interview with BBC Sport, the 21-year-old said he wants to become a "legend" at Old Trafford.

He also spoke to former United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy about the move.

Depay was speaking after scoring his first goal for the club in a 3-1 pre-season win over Major League Soccer side San Jose Earthquakes.

On Van Gaal

Memphis Depay at the World Cup

Depay played under Van Gaal, 63, for Netherlands at last year's World Cup, scoring twice in four appearances.

"I don't want to say he is a father figure. But he is a great manager. He can make players better.

"My experience when I went to the World Cup, and even before, was that I felt I was a better player every time I trained with him. I felt stronger. I felt fit.

"I am very hungry and I want to do everything better so I become a better player."

On his aims at United

"I want to be a legend at some time. But the important thing to do is to focus on the next game... because I have to do my job in every game."

On interest from other clubs

Paris St-Germain and Tottenham were among the clubs linked with Depay before he moved to Old Trafford.

"When United came, my decision was made. After they came, I spoke with the manager and it was very clear for me."

On talking to Van Nistelrooy

Ruud van Nistelrooy
Dutch striker Van Nistelrooy scored 150 goals in five seasons at Old Trafford

"We spoke about how big the club was, how the fans are. But we will speak in the future about other things. He is a legend at Manchester United."

On himself

Depay was four years old when his father left, so he prefers to have 'Memphis' on the back of his shirt rather than his surname. He is heavily tattooed, with one in honour of his grandad, who died a day after Depay's 15th birthday.

"Those things are a part of my life. It is not a part of football. It is a different thing. I have a life next to football.

"I have been through little situations. That makes me strong. I enjoy my tattoos, as you can see. I am the person I am. Everybody has to respect that."

On setting goalscoring targets

"I never do that. It is important to do well for the team. If I score goals or get assists, I will do that. I will put pressure on myself to play well in every game but I have to improve. The Premier League is different."

Depay netted 22 goals to finish as the Eredivisie's top scorer last season.

On what United could achieve

"We have real qualities. We have to prove that in the games. We have to be creative. The defence has to be strong so we win games and we can play for trophies."

On winning the Premier League

"It is realistic. We are Manchester United."

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