Analysis: What does Barcelona’s changing stance on Memphis Depay tell us?

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Analysis: What does Barcelona's changing stance on Memphis Depay tell us?

Barcelona only have two representatives remaining at the World Cup after Brazil and the Netherlands exited in the quarter-finals, and they might not have nay more if France are eliminated by England.

Otherwise, they are receiving players back in dribs and drabs, the latest of which will be Frenkie de Jong and Memphis Depay. For how long, is the question for the latter.

Memphis looked almost certain to leave last summer as competition in his spot left him without game time. Playing just 131 minutes before his injury, Memphis was on the outside looking in.

As the Blaugrana attempted to register their players, Memphis’ departure was essential to free up some space in their salary limit. The Dutch forward was adamant that he would only leave on free, if Barcelona rescinded his contract, and he had an offer from a top club.

That was expected to be the case again this winter, with Memphis slightly more willing to look for a destination in order to gain minutes. However it looks as if Barcelona are set to change the equation. According to Sport, they will only allow Memphis to leave if they receive a fee for him this January.

As a result, a few things can be inferred about Barcelona’s current transfer strategy.

If they are less desperate to shift Memphis’ salary from the books, it follows that it is unlikely to have a major impact on their ability to sign, positively or negatively. Both Sporting Director Jordi Cruyff and President Joan Laporta have stated that any signings will be difficult for Barcelona this winter.

If Barcelona are to shift Memphis‘ wage, the extra boost from a fee might be the difference between being able to bring another player in or coming up short. From that perspective, it makes more sense to keep Memphis around than having a small amount of their salary limit left over.

It also shows that Barcelona are less keen to make signings than the previous summer. While no doubt the addition of a right-back would be ideal, there is an acceptance of their squad as it is until the end of the season if things do not work out.

Perhaps Barcelona also see him as a potentially useful part of their squad in the second half of the season too, where they did not previously.

Seeing the form of Ferran Torres, the lack of regular game time that Ansu Fati has had, and the less than stellar form of Raphinha, Barcelona may have re-evaluated his position within the squad. None of the three have been a regular source of goals this season, making the Blaugrana overly reliant on Robert Lewandowski.

The Polish forward will also be missing for the first three games of the year after his suspension was upheld by the disciplinary committee for La Liga. None of the six forwards in total, aside from Memphis have suffered an injury keeping them out for significant time either. Following the World Cup, that extra depth might Memphis can offer could be crucial as Barcelona compete on four fronts when they return.

 

Image via EFE/EPA/JOE BUGLEWICZ

Source by Football Espana

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