Barcelona forward Memphis Depay has picked up an injury while on international duty with the Netherlands. The attacker had to be replaced in the second half of his team’s 2-0 Nations League win over Poland on Thursday, September 22.
Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal offered an update on Memphis after the match and did not sound particularly positive. He said, “It’s a pity that Memphis had to go off with this injury, it doesn’t look good and I don’t see him playing vs Belgium on Sunday.”
Van Gaal also replaced Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong at half-time of the match but had a more positive update on the Dutchman. He told reporters, “He felt some tension in his muscles, that’s why I took him off, but Frenkie told me he expects to be ready to play against Belgium.”
The injury news will not be welcomed back at Barcelona as the Catalans giants face a hectic fixture schedule in October. Xavi’s side are set to play nine games in all competitions, including a Clasico against fierce rivals Real Madrid.
Barcelona also have some important fixtures to play in the Champions League. The Catalans are set to face Inter twice and then welcome Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich to the Camp Nou.
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Kounde Also Picks Up Injury
There was more bad news for Barcelona on the injury front from France. Center-back Jules Kounde had to be replaced midway through the first half of Les Bleus’ win over Austria.
Kounde has been in stellar form for Barcelona since signing from Sevilla but may also be set for some time on the sidelines. France boss Didier Deschamps confirmed after the match Kounde has picked up a muscular injury.
The defender has played at both right-back and center-back for Barcelona this season, although it’s worth noting that Xavi does have a host of options when it comes to his backline.
Barcelona also have Eric Garcia, Andreas Christensen, Ronald Araujo, Gerard Pique, and Hector Bellerin available, although Xavi certainly will not want Kounde to be out for too long.
Concerns Over Dembele Too
Ousmane Dembele also featured for France in Thursday’s win but there are also concerns over the forward’s fitness. The 24-year-old finished the game in some pain, according to reporter Achraf Ben Ayad.
The news will be of concern given how injuries have been a recurring theme for Dembele during his Barcelona career. The forward had appeared to put his injury problems behind him in 2022 and had managed to play regularly.
Indeed his improved form and fitness had led to a recall to the France squad, and Barca will be hoping it’s not another issue that will put Dembele out of action.
Xavi’s side do have some time before they return to action after the international break. Barcelona’s next game is not until Saturday, October 1 when the Catalans head to Real Mallorca in La Liga.