Former Barcelona forward Neymar has been chatting with Memphis Depay and had a few words of advice for club coach Xavi about the Netherlands international.
The two stars engaged in an Instagram Live session on Tuesday, March 1 which saw Neymar telling Xavi why he needs to start the Dutchman, as shown by reporter Reshad Rahman.
Memphis returned from injury as a substitute during Barcelona’s 4-0 win over Athletic last time out in La Liga. The former Lyon man only played the last eight minutes at the Camp Nou but still found the back of the net.
The 28-year-old’s strike was his ninth of the season for Barcelona in La Liga. Memphis remains the team’s top scorer so far in the 2021-22 campaign ahead of strikers Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Luuk de Jong.
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Memphis Speaks Out After Comeback
Memphis spoke out after scoring the final goal in Barcelona’s 4-0 win and admitted he was happy to be back in action for the Catalan giants. The forward had not played since January’s Super Cup defeat to Real Madrid but was glad to finally return, as reported by Football Oranje.
“I didn’t expect to be out for so long, but I’m glad I’m back,” he said. “The team is in great shape. We also have more attackers now. You immediately see what is happening. We score three goals in ten minutes. The winter signings are doing very well.”
Memphis also offered his thoughts on the team’s recent improved form and praised coach Xavi for his impact since taking over. He added, “He has changed our training methods. The opponent’s defenders now suffer when they meet us.”
Barca strengthened their attack in the January transfer window by signing Ferran Torres, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and Adama Traore. The forward line has impressed in recent games, scoring 12 goals in the team’s last 3 matches.
Will Memphis Stay At Barcelona?
The arrival of the new forwards has increased competition in the Barca attack and also led to speculation over Memphis’s future at the Camp Nou. Serie A side Napoli and former club Lyon have both been linked with the Dutchman.
Xavi was asked about Memphis at a news conference, before he made his comeback against Athletic, and insisted the forward remains an important player despite the arrival of the January signings.
“There is more competition in the entire team but Memphis will be important for us, same as Clement Lenglet,” he said. “It’s good for me to have more players to choose from and for the players to improve, make sure they give their all. They are two important players and it’ll depend on them.”
However, Memphis is only contracted to Barcelona until 2023 which means the club could consider a summer transfer to avoid losing him on a free transfer next year when his deal expires.
The Dutchman may also want to consider his future at the end of the season if he struggles for game time between now and the end of the campaign, particularly as the Catalans continue to be linked with a big-money move for Erling Haaland.