Even before the official parting with the legendary Argentine striker, a player appeared in the team with all the makings of becoming a team leader. We are talking about Memphis DePay, signed as a free agent after leaving the French Lyon.
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He is mature, but without a proper record of achievement
I am only 27 years old, but at the same time we can say that he is already 27 years old. He is a mature and accomplished footballer who has played at home for PSV, in England for Manchester United and in France for Lyon. But his collection of achievements is very meager.
Memphis is a bronze medalist at the 2014 World Cup and a silver medalist in the 2019 UEFA Nations League. In his youth, he became the European champion among 17-year-olds (2011) with his peers. In addition, Depay in 2015 – at the age of 21 – was recognized as the best young player in the world according to France Football magazine.
And this is all that the Catalan newcomer can boast of, except for one championship in the Netherlands, plus victories in the country’s Cup and Super Cup, as well as winning the FA Cup with Man United. Few! At Barcelona, he has a great opportunity to achieve more and leave a deeper mark in history than he does now.
The native of South Holland has played four games for Barcelona since his transfer so far. All of them, of course, have a friendly status, as they are part of the summer pre-season training. In them, Depay scored three goals with one assist. And he started playing for the “blue garnet”, by and large, from scratch. He just came out of vacation and started with a goal against Girona (3: 1), then scored against Stuttgart (3:0), and also hit Juventus’ goal (3: 0) last Sunday, adding one an assistant.
But Memphis was equally successful in acting on the team. Not in words, but in deeds, he worked on the field for the interests of the collective. His individual strengths turned out to be visible not with an armed eye (statistics – help!), But in Barcelona’s game he showed qualities that make it possible to say that Depay is already a backbone executor of the team. Not part of it, but precisely capable of leading partners, motivating them by personal example.
Lionel Messi’s leaving
Let’s go back to where we started – with the Argentine striker leaving the team. Messi is no longer at Barcelona, and the niche he occupied both on and off the pitch has become empty. There is no longer within the Catalan collective and its authority. The presence of Messi could have a positive effect on someone, and on someone negative. Authority is a powerful thing, but also terrible at the same time.
Now nobody will exert any pressure on Depay. Get out on the field and do whatever you like, what you can give to the team. Memphis should have untied arms, legs, and head. And his head is bright, capable of thinking creatively and unexpectedly for rivals, as we have already noted.
In general, all that remains is to be patient and wait for the official start of the season in the Spanish championship, and then you look and before the start of the group stage of the Champions League will be a stone’s throw. All the big games at Depay at Barcelona are ahead!