Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman has made it clear he wants to sign Memphis Depay this season, and his resolve may have strengthened after seeing the Netherlands international hit an impressive landmark on Sunday.
Depay notched three assists in Lyon’s 3-2 Ligue 1 win over Strasbourg to become the first player in Europe to notch an impressive landmark in 2020-21.
Memphis Depay is the first player in Europe’s top five divisions this season to score a hat-trick of goals and provide a hat-trick of assists:
⚽️⚽️⚽️ vs. Dijon
🅰️🅰️🅰️ vs. Strasbourg
Get a forward that can do both. pic.twitter.com/17a0LZaKjH
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) October 18, 2020
It was some first-half performance from Depay:
Memphis Depay’s first half vs. Strasbourg by numbers:
85% pass accuracy
3 successful take-ons
3 chances created
Phenomenal. 🇳🇱 pic.twitter.com/4eEoPHcg9k
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) October 18, 2020
The 26-year-old previously scored a hat-trick on the opening day of the league season back in August when he scored three times in a win over Dijon.
Depay now has four goals and three assists in seven league outings for Rudi Garcia’s side this season. Lyon’s win takes them into seventh place in the table, just five points behind leaders Paris Saint-Germain.
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Koeman Wants Depay in January
Barcelona failed with a deadline-day move for Depay in the summer transfer window but could return for the forward when the transfer window reopens in January 2021.
Koeman told AD that he still wants the Netherlands international at the Camp Nou and is hoping a deal can be done with Lyon to bring the forward in. Depay’s contract expires at the end of the season, meaning he can negotiate with clubs in January.
“It’s a possibility. I will try because I want to have him at Barcelona, but I can’t know what the financial situation of the club will be then. We’ll have to wait.”
The Barcelona boss also explained why his team had failed to land Depay over the summer.
“Everything was ready but due to La Liga rules we knew we had to sell a player first. In the end, that didn’t happen. We wanted Memphis because he’s a great player and because he’s got qualities that I think we lack, including an ability to play with depth in his game.”
Koeman knows Depay well from working with the forward as the Netherlands national team boss before he took over at Barcelona. Depay’s record under Koeman shows why the Barca boss is so keen to bring him to the Camp Nou.
Memphis Depay’s record for the Netherlands under Ronald Koeman was ridiculous:
⬡ 18 games
⬢ 11 goals
⬢ 11 assists
Will they ever be reunited? 🦁 pic.twitter.com/QGwgVP6K7O
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) October 11, 2020
Barcelona have financial issues and may still have to offload players before they can bring in any new players in January. If they do not sign Depay in the winter he will be available as a free agent next summer.
Depay Focused on Lyon
Depay has also been asked about his future and a possible move to Barcelona but has been pretty coy about his plans for next season and beyond. He told reporters on Friday that he is concentrating on Lyon for the time being.
“I’m very happy to be at Lyon. I’m proud to be a Lyon player and the captain. Things have been misunderstood. What’s said in the media is not always true. It’s true that some clubs were interested in me and came forward, but in the end no deal was done.”
The forward was pressed further about a possible departure in January and added: “That’s in four months, we’ll see. My thoughts are with Lyon.”
Depay seems to be doing his talking on the pitch for now, and his performance on Sunday will probably only convince Koeman further that the club should try to sign him in January.