MANCHESTER -- Louis van Gaal believes Memphis Depay is one of the best young talents in the world and can address Manchester United's striker shortage by compensating for Robin van Persie's imminent departure.
Van Persie is set to complete a move to Fenerbahce while Radamel Falcao, who was on loan at Old Trafford last season, is now a Chelsea player.
That leaves captain Wayne Rooney as United's only fit specialist senior striker, backed up by teenager James Wilson.
But while £25 million signing Depay made his name as a winger, he was the top scorer in the Eredivisie while playing for PSV Eindhoven last season and Van Gaal feels he has the versatility to operate in a central role.
He said in a news conference: "It is one of the reasons that we have bought Memphis, because maybe you remember that he has played in the striker's position also in the Dutch [national] team.
"That was new for him. He learns very quickly. He can play in different positions and that is also a reason we have bought him. He is one of the greatest talents of his age. We have to wait and see which position he can give the greatest benefit to the team."
Van Gaal also claimed he did not necessarily need to sign a centre-forward despite the probable departure of Van Persie, the exit of Falcao and the possibility that Javier Hernandez does not have a future at the club.
"We have enough strikers," he said. "It is always what is possible. Manchester United shall not buy to buy. I am not a manager who wants to buy players.
"No, I want to develop players. Sometimes you have to buy but when you buy it has to be better than what you have. That is theory and it shall be showed if it is true."
Van Gaal warned Depay that he would find it harder in England but said he felt the 21-year-old had the confidence to succeed and remembered the precedent of a previous Dutch winger who proved him wrong.
"He shall notice that it is not so easy in the Premier League," he added. "It is a big difference from the Dutch league, always pressure on the ball [and the] physical resistance [is] high so it is not so easy.
"He is full of confidence so he shall say what he is feeling but I know it is not easy. Players like [Marcos] Rojo, [Angel] Di Maria and [Daley] Blind had problems [when they joined United last year].
"We have to give him time also. I said [the same] once to Marc Overmars when he was coming from Willem II to Ajax, but he was not agreeing with me and he bet how many goals he scored and he won."