Memphis Depay has officially become a Barcelona player. The Catalan giants announced the signing of the Netherlands forward on their social media handles on June 20. That puts an end to the constant speculation that the two parties have been through together for several months.
Depay is a player heavily favored by Ronald Koeman. The tactician tried to bring him to Camp Nou last summer but a deal couldn’t be reached between Barca and Lyon. After watching his compatriot Georginio Wijnaldum hijacked by Paris Saint-Germain recently, Blaugarana knew they couldn’t take any risks so they quickly wrapped up the attacker’s signing.
There’s already a lot of optimism in Catalonia following the capture of the Dutchman. He arrived on a free transfer and on a very moderate wage term. This is huge considering the financial state of the club and its mission to lower the wage bill this summer. His signing represents a great deal for Barca but what can the Catalan giants expect from their new forward?
What Barca stand to gain from Memphis Depay
Memphis Depay is an exceptional winger with great technique and incredible knack. He has a perfect blend of pace, dribbling, shooting and confidence on the ball. He is one of the few players in Europe who can create something out of nothing, the exact profile that Barca need to reduce the burden on Lionel Messi.
Similar to the Argentine, the Dutchman thrives at being both a creator and a finisher. His tally of 20 goals and 12 assists for Lyon in 37 Ligue 1 appearances last season bears testament to this. With better players at Camp Nou, his numbers are likely going to increase.
Koeman will have many options with the attacker, thanks to his versatility. Depay plays well with both his feet and occupies multiple positions on the pitch. At Lyon, he primarily played as a left winger but also made appearances as a striker and attacking midfielder. He can also be deployed on the right flank or paired with the main striker.
The immense physicality of Memphis Depay cannot be ignored. The attacker does well in ground duels, using his body to keep hold of the ball as well as to impose himself on opposition defenders. He is comfortable in possession, with decent passing skills and great positional awareness.
The Dutchman could be a part of a three-man attack alongside Messi and Aguero, deployed behind the front three or any other spot in the offensive half. Depay has what it takes to make a good statement in the Catalan capital. His presence could also force other Barca attackers to step up their game, which would establish healthy competition for places in the team.
While expecting all the goodies from Depay, Barca should also be gearing up for a few not-so-good factors. The biggest of them is that the attacker’s arrival could hinder the progress of many players at the club. Ansu Fati could be the main culprit but the likes of Philippe Coutinho, Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembele, Francisco Trincao and Martin Braithwaite are not safe either.
A tactical switch could even limit the opportunities available to players like Pedri, Frenkie de Jong and Riqui Puig. It all comes down to Joan Laporta and Koeman deciding on who to keep and who to move on as soon as possible to avoid suffocation in the team. There are still over two months left to do so.
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