Barcelona has just confirmed the transfer of Memphis Depay as a free agent. The Netherlands international joins the club on a two-year deal after not renewing his contract with Lyon. The 27-year-old attacker has been linked to the club ever since Ronald Koeman arrived at Barcelona. After a year in charge, the Dutch manager has finally gotten his player.
With 22 goals and 12 assists in 40 appearances for Lyon this past season, there is no doubt about the quality Memphis would bring. However, how exactly will the Dutchman fit in at Barcelona with the overload of attackers the club has.
With Lionel Messi set to renew his contract, the club now has Messi, Griezmann, Ansu, Trincao, Braithwaite, Dembele, Coutinho, as well as the newly promoted Alex Collado. Rumors have emerged that Koeman is set to play a 4-3-3 next season, leaving only three spots in the attack. With Lionel Messi a guaranteed starter, can Memphis challenge for one of the other two available spots?
While Memphis is a versatile player, he is most effective playing where Messi, Griezmann, and Coutinho play. He is a player that likes the ball to his feet and drops deeper to make things happen. This extremely limits Barcelona’s options in attack. Depay is neither a natural winger nor is he a natural striker, which are the two attacking positions Barcelona is most in need of with the injury of Ansu Fati and the inconsistency of Ousmane Dembele.
Finance-wise, this is a great transfer by Barcelona. A player of Depay’s quality arriving on a free transfer and reduced salary is already a tremendous coupe. This is a low-risk, high-reward transfer. Should Depay impress, his contract will be renewed and he will stay at the club. Should the transfer not pan out, Barcelona can sell Depay for a profit or not renew his contract and get him off the wage books in two years’ time. More so, Depay’s versatility in attack will come in handy. The former Lyon man occupies central spaces and is also highly efficient playing on the left wing. While Depay is not a natural striker, which is what Barcelona needs most right now, he will surely still be an upgrade on Braithwaite and more effective on the left-wing than Griezmann.
Overall, this is a great signing and Memphis will be one to watch this upcoming season.
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