Depay Barcelona
The Netherlands forward and ex-Lyon star Memphis Depay has signed with Barcelona. What does that mean for the club and how does he fit in? (Image: Twitter: @Memphis)

Memphis Depay Signed with Barcelona. Now What?

Barcelona announced the signing of Dutch forward Memphis Depay earlier this week. The Spanish club and the Dutchman were in talks last year regarding a possible transfer, with the move finally coming to fruition this transfer window.

Depay certainly adds another weapon to Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman’s elite arsenal of attacking talent at Camp Nou. With summer signing Sergio Aguero, as well as Frenchmen Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele, Koeman will have his pick of the litter when it comes to selecting an attacking front that complements the club’s talisman: Lionel Messi.

Despite failing to sign Depay’s fellow countryman and star midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum earlier in the transfer window cycle, Barcelona will be loaded with attacking talent. But they still have some question marks in the midfield and defense, especially. As the Catalan club’s golden generation loses their inevitable battle with time, the Spanish giants are hoping to squeeze out a few more years of success with Messi and company.

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Where Depay Fits In

Depay is a fabulous striker/forward. He netted 22 goals and had 12 assists with Olympique Lyon this past season. With Koeman – another Dutchman at the club – we can figure that the pair will link up nicely at Camp Nou.

Realistically, Barcelona should go with a 4-4-2 formation if they want to maximize their success in La Liga and beyond this season. Marc-André ter Stegen will be between the posts for the club when he comes back from injury. There are some questions concerning reliability, speed and age surrounding the possible center-back pairing for Barcelona next season, but the summer signing of ex-Manchester city defender Eric García should alleviate that problem. Expect either Gerard Piqué or Clément Lenglet to serve as the other center-back. The possible addition of Aymeric Laporte would provide more depth at the back. I think the full-back positions are relatively easy to predict with Jordi Alba slotting in on the left and USMNT defender Sergiño Dest filling in on the right.

In the midfield, I think a changing of the guard is in order. Sergio Busquets has served Barcelona for a decade and done a fabulous job as the holding midfielder. It’s now time to allow the youth to come center stage. Young Spaniard Pedri has had a good showing thus far at the 2020 Euros and pairing him with Frenkie de Jong would make for a formidable midfield pivot. On the wings Koeman should have Griezmann on the left and either Ansu Fati or Dembele on the right.

And finally for the front two. Messi can slot in at nearly every attacking position on the pitch. As Pep Guardiola said, the Argentinian can play the ‘6’, the ‘8’, the ’10’, the ‘7’; wherever you want him. Slotting him in as a freely moving #10 hunting for the ball is where you want him though. It’s the position he has made his own for a decade and a half and what’s a few more years? If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Depay should play just above Messi as the center forward for this squad. I could also see Aguero and Depay playing as two center forwards working off one another as Messi moves over to right wing.

Regardless of whether Koeman takes my advice or not, Depay figures to fit in well at Barcelona. Despite recent forwards’ struggles in Camp Nou, Barca fans should feel positive after signing the Dutchman.

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