Barcelona looked to have dug themselves into a hole with Memphis Depay, and the striker could’ve rightly felt hard done by as we approach the new La Liga season.
Whilst there is certainly room for improvement in his all round game, to include his shots to goals ratio, ever since signing for the Blaugranes he’d been a model professional.
Perhaps not the ‘big name’ that many craved, Memphis was, nevertheless, deserving of his place in the first team squad.
That’s why the treatment of the player at present sticks in the craw a little.
There’s an argument of course that if clubs see their playing staff as surplus to requirements then why shouldn’t they leverage them away.
After all, when players themselves want to move on, they and their agents give little thought to their current employers.
Thems the breaks I guess.
Looking at the current situation from a goal scoring perspective, Memphis was the top La Liga scorer in the squad last season with 12 goals.
A barren late-season spell notwithstanding, only Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang managed to better Depay’s numbers, and his tally of 13 came in all competitions.
A dozen league goals in your opening spell isn’t too shabby, but if reports are to be believed, then Xavi has already make up his mind and wants the player to make way.
With Ansu Fati, Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha and Ousmane Dembélé all shining on the US tour, not to mention the other attacking talents that Xavi has at his disposal, clearly Memphis has, according to some reliable sources, reluctantly decided he’d be better off away from Camp Nou.
Excl: Barcelona and Memphis Depay lawyers are in negotiations to reach an agreement on free agency. No way for €20m fee. Depay will accept to leave Barça only in case he’ll find the right option for his future. #FCB— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 2, 2022
Memphis Depay will only consider top clubs. pic.twitter.com/COFSiHdXBL
He deserved much credit for initially digging his heels in and saying that he was happy to stay and fight for his place.
As long as he didn’t become disruptive, then having him snapping away at everyone’s heels in training and ready to step in at a moments notice might’ve afforded Xavi an option that, ultimately, would’ve been to his benefit.
Memphis is still international class, is just 28 years of age and has plenty of football left in the tank.
Depay, perhaps, suffers for being Ronald Koeman’s choice too.
He’s unlikely to be the last player out of the exit door, but I can’t help thinking that, for the sake of what amounts to a pittance in today’s money, surely Xavi and Barça would’ve been better served by having the striker in situ rather than plundering goals elsewhere…