Lyon forward Memphis Depay has reportedly attracted Premier League interest, with Liverpool believed to be among the clubs interested in him.
Depay has previously played in the Premier League with Manchester United, but he scored just seven times in 53 games for them before moving to Lyon in 2017 and incurred the wrath of his coach Ryan Giggs and manager Louis van Gaal for various off-field habits and on-field mistakes.
He has been very prolific for his current club, though, reaching double figures in the last two Ligue 1 seasons and already scoring 11 goals in all competitions this term in 1,138 minutes of football (one goal per 103.45 minutes).
That is one more than Liverpool’s current top scorer Sadio Mane, who has played 1,267 minutes this season (one goal per 126.7 minutes) and also plays as a left winger, although Depay has been frequently used as a centre-forward so far in 2019/20.
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It isn’t just in terms of goalscoring that the Dutch international rivals Liverpool’s front men, either. In the Champions League this season, he has averaged three shots, 2.8 key passes and three dribbles per game. [via WhoScored]
His shots per game ratio is better than Mane’s (1.8) and Firmino’s (1.3) in that competition, while he has had more key passes per game than any Liverpool player. His dribbles per game ratio is also superior to that of Mane (2.5) and Firmino (one). [via WhoScored]
Where Depay has perhaps fallen down this season is in terms of goal creation, with only one assist so far. He may be scoring much more than Reds centre-forward Firmino, who has just three goals to his name in 2019/20, but the Brazilian has set up eight goals, with Mane and Salah recording five assists each.
Depay’s record in front of goal, and his ability to play as a left winger or centre-forward, would seem to make him an ideal target for Liverpool.
However, Jurgen Klopp has been very slow to break up his main front three of Salah, Mane and Firmino, who have each played 1,250 minutes or more this season. Liverpool forward Xherdan Shaqiri has started only one match since the end of January, indicating how hard it can be to break up the main attacking triumvirate.
While Depay may be a useful addition if the Reds decide to pursue him, he may have to settle for being a backup player at Anfield, given Klopp’s loyalty to the main front three.
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