One of the surprises of Thursday’s Europa League win was the non-appearance of Memphis. The Dutch winger was an unused substitute as Manchester United scraped a 1-0 victory over Ukraine’s Zorya Luhansk at Old Trafford, raising yet more questions about his long-term future. However, José Mourinho has explained that the reason Memphis didn’t feature was not that he hates his guts; instead, he was forced into the withdrawal of Timothy Fosu-Mensah. Per the Manchester Evening News:
"Every game I know more about my players, especially the ones that are on the pitch," Mourinho said. "Obviously I would like to have other players playing more, so I can see more and learn more about them.
"Today I had in my mind to give Memphis 20 or 25 minutes, but I couldn't because of the way I had to make the changes and then the problem with Timothy Fosu-Mensah I had to play a right-back.”
That seems like fair enough, though it certainly won’t do anything to quash the rumours of an imminent Memphis exit. It had been hoped by the more optimistic of United supporters that Mourinho would be able to get the best from Memphis, just as he’d managed for a while with Eden Hazard at Chelsea. He likes his goalscoring wingers, and the Dutchman, in theory, fits the mould. In practice, however, we’re yet to see any evidence.