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Is Memphis Depay the missing link for Barcelona?

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Goals guaranteed

EURO 2020 group C”The Netherlands v Ukraine” Photo by ANP Sport via Getty Images

It just might be time to start getting excited about next season.

Barcelona’s transfer business so far this summer has been top class, given the limitations placed on them because of the coronavirus pandemic and, more pertinently, Josep Maria Bartomeu’s incredible mismanagement of club funds.

To be able to craft any sort of decent transfer policy from what was left behind from the last regime was always going to be a tall order, but credit to Joan Laporta for making some tough calls already, with surely more to come in due course.

One signing that certainly seems to have worked in Barcelona’s favour is the capture of Memphis Depay.

Holland v Ukraine -EURO Photo by Eric Verhoeven/Soccrates/Getty Images

Lest we forget that the Catalans were willing to pay €25m for his services this time last year, so to be able to acquire him on a free transfer is nothing short of a real coup.

At 27, he’s theoretically in his prime as a player, and joins the club at the same age Luis Suarez did... and we all know how that turned out.

Memphis may not be quite the ‘killer’ that El Pistolero was, though he does have a fair bit more to his game than the Uruguayan.

Goals come as standard and are expected, but it’s his intelligent movement and the ability to play right across the front three which ensures the striker is worth his weight in gold.

A preference to play as an inverted left winger that cuts in on his right will work if Ronald Koeman intends to play Ansu Fati down the centre and Ousmane Dembele on the right, with Leo Messi slightly behind.

That doesn’t take into account how often Sergio Aguero will be called upon or where Antoine Griezmann fits into this attacking jigsaw, but it’s great to have such high-quality options.

Memphis’ hire also offers the possibility of either Frenchman being moved on, allowing a significant saving on salary as well as bringing in much-needed funds, even if it will be a drop in the ocean when compared with what was paid for their services.

In any event, Memphis has shown his commitment to the cause by turning down potentially more lucrative moves elsewhere.

Sure, he’ll still be handsomely remunerated, but he’s nailed himself to the blaugrana mast and that is a good enough start point.

Now to pay his way with goals and the type of performances we’ve seen on a regular basis for Lyon.

If he continues to hit the heights, he’ll be a very sound acquisition indeed.