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Memphis Depay gives Xavi and Laporta some food for thought at Barcelona

Timely showing from the Dutchman

FC Barcelona v Real Mallorca - La Liga Santander Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

At this stage of the season all that matters is putting points on the board.

For the final few games of the 2021/22 La Liga campaign, the manner of the performance is secondary.

If Xavi can extract a decent showing as well as getting back to winning ways, that would be the perfect scenario for culers, but let’s not get too picky here.

All options are still on the table in terms of Champions League qualification.

A guaranteed berth in next season’s edition of European football’s premier competition is in Barca’s hands. Simply put, win all their games and a second-place finish is theirs.

However, the last few games have informed us that not everything is going to be plain sailing. It isn’t beyond the realms of possibility that the Blaugranes could finish outside the top four if results don’t go their way.

FC Barcelona v Real Mallorca - La Liga Santander Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

Whomever gets the nod in the starting XI has to take their opportunity when it’s handed to them on a plate.

He’s been out of the picture for a while now, but Memphis Depay quickly set about making the most of his chance.

With the Ousmane Dembele transfer saga threatening to upset the apple cart once again, could the Dutchman actually provide the solution that Xavi requires?

Although he was very definitely Ronald Koeman’s man, Depay has done more than enough in the shirt this season to be considered a fixture from this point.

He may not be as rapier-quick as the French World Cup winner, but it would be hard to argue against him giving Barcelona a more pro-active option out wide.

He’s the Blaugranes top scorer as a start point to the argument - definitely an area where Dembele is found wanting.

FC Barcelona v Rayo Vallecano - La Liga Santander Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

Although more of an option from the bench of late, there hasn’t really been much of a chance for the player to impress the coach.

However, he certainly did that against Mallorca. His touch to bring the ball under control in the second half was worth the admission money alone, not to mention an exquisite first-half finish which opened the scoring at the Camp Nou.

Busy and purposeful, this was the perfect game from which Depay could send a timely reminder to Xavi and Joan Laporta.

Dembele’s renewal will be expensive and can the club justify the outlay for a player that is still hit and miss?

Depay, to his credit, has waited for his chance, and Xavi will be a brave man indeed if he intends to plonk him back on the bench after that showing.

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