Barcelona has been told to “expect the unexpected” from new signing Memphis Depay who has joined the club on a free transfer this summer after his contract with French side Lyon expired.
Depay made the transfer official on Thursday, signing a a contract at the club that runs until the end of the 2022-23 season, and was officially unveiled at the Camp Nou.
Dutch journalist Simon Zwartkruis, who wrote Depay’s official biography ‘Heart of a Lion’, has spoken to Diario Sport about the Netherlands international and what the club can expect from the 27-year-old.
“His personality reflects the way he plays football. He trusts himself and is very ambitious. He likes to put on a show and for people to enjoy watching the game. That’s why he takes risks in the play. A good example was his first goal after the bad knee injury he had,” he said. “Most players go slower and safer after so long out, but when Lyon were given a penalty against Juventus, Memphis took the ball with no doubts and scored a Panenka. With Memphis you can expect the unexpected. When he confirmed his transfer to Barca, I sent him that famous Johan Cruyff phrase. “Salid y disfrutad” (go out and enjoy it). I think that message fits him perfectly.”
Depay is being tipped to start the season in attack alongside captain Lionel Messi and fellow new arrival Sergio Aguero.
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Memphis and Messi
Zwartkruis was also asked about how Depay will fit in with Messi at Barcelona and feels the forward will be able to create opportunities for the captain. The new arrival is also expected to fit in well with Netherlands teammate Frenkie de Jong.
“Like everyone, Memphis won’t take long to notice the impact and status of Messi at Barcelona. With Netherlands and Lyon, Memphis had a lot of pitch ahead of him, space to generate and create,” he added. “At Barca he will be one of those who have to stretch the pitch, so Messi has space to work in and connect with Memphis in attack. With the national team he had a quick connection with Frenkie de Jong. That can happen, technical players can click well. I’m sure Koeman has thought about Memphis’s qualities and Messi’s, and they can work together for the team.”
Memphis ‘Fulfilling’ His Dreams
The Dutch forward is clearly delighted to have sealed a move to the Camp Nou and told Barca TV that it is a dream come true to play for the Catalan giants.
“As a kid I had a Barca jersey with Kluivert on the back and then you just dream that one day in the future to also be a football player and have your own name on the back,” he said. “To achieve that is just, i don’t know how to describe it, it’s a little bit strange you know. I’m not getting used to it, but it feels great and it’s very special. It’s definitely feels fulfilling.”
Depay has joined in pre-season training at the club this week and could get his first minutes as a Barcelona player on Saturday. The Catalan giants take on Girona in a pre-season friendly at the Estadi Johan Cruyff.