Memphis Depay, currently captaining the Olympique Lyonnais men’s team in their pursuit of their first Ligue Un since their seven-successive title wins ended in the 2008/2009 season, is linked with a transfer to Liverpool almost every season. His contract with Lyon ends at the end of this season, and by all indications it looks like he won’t resign with the club. He is twenty-seven years old now, entering his prime. It’s likely, regardless of what happens in the Ligue Un title race, he wants to test himself elsewhere.
Since Ronald Koeman became Barcelona manager, many Dutch players – including Liverpool’s Georginio Wijnaldum, whose deal is up at Anfield this summer too – have been touted to join him at the Camp Nou. It’s widely anticipated that this is where Memphis ends up. However, Marca are suggesting Liverpool and Juventus have tabled offers, trying to sway the Dutchman away from it seems he may well inevitably end up.
As things currently stand, the Premier League’s defending champions will fail to retain their title. For those who enjoy placing the odd bet on football, this current position translates to them being 1000/1 longshots with eight games to go. It’s been a tough season for the Reds, losing three starting centre-backs to season-ending injuries, and then having key players miss games throughout the season with minor knocks and muscle issues. However, for fans, pundits, and journalists, Liverpool’s squad was entering into a rebuild phase this season or next anyway.
The signing of Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig is reportedly all but completed, with minor details being ironed out before the player undertakes a medical. This is the first step in organising a long-term picture for the defence. It’s highly likely Liverpool make Kabak a permanent signing too. Van Djik will come back into the team, but he’s approaching thirty years-old and after recovering from such a major injury there will be uncertainties about how well he’ll perform. Injuries can not only deliver physical blows but also mental and emotional issues in their wake. The same goes for Gomez. Both Konate and Kabak are low-risk-high-reward signings who offer on-field value now and in the future.
Up the other end of the pitch is where there will be serious questions asked. All of their front three are aging. They are approaching the point where their value will only depreciate. To rebuild, Liverpool will need money. Salah has been hinting at leaving, which could become more concrete if Liverpool fail to qualify for the Champions League, and he will be the most expensive sale. Liverpool won’t want to lose their star player. Firmino’s performances, at least in terms of goal output, have dwindled, and it’s likely he could be sold before Salah. Mane, though, in an ideal world, could be the one to sell right now. His talent is undeniable, and, due to his incredible fitness, it’s likely the age curve could be kind to him, meaning his “peak” could well extend into his thirties, making him an attractive transfer for some teams and, therefore, holding a better price than Firmino. This is where Memphis could fit in.
Depay of Previous Years
In his time at PSV, he looked like a shot monster. Some of the locations were questionable, with many being for distances which made the likelihood of goal very, very slim. However, on the whole, there was promise as this many shots and scoring at the rates he was scoring suggested it could well be translatable to “tougher” leagues, which was why Manchester United took a chance. It didn’t work out for him in Manchester. He failed to become a regular under the two managers he worked under in his two seasons at the club before seeking a move in January of 2017. United do have a buy-back clause, but that won’t mean much now he’s free to discuss contracts with other clubs without them needing to negotiate transfer fees.
Right now, Memphis is, as mentioned, captaining Lyon and is an integral cog in their offensive unit. He had a high usage-rate at his time in Holland – meaning that his team’s possessions often ended with Memphis taking a shot – and that appears to have translated to Lyon. His shot numbers are solid as are his creative ones, according to fbref.com. He plays in a team which plays through him. Will this happen at Liverpool?
In the Liverpool Team
Jota was brought in with a view to the future. He’s a great player now, but he is pre-peak. He will get better. His versatility offers the Liverpool recruitment team a wonderful opportunity to build a front three however they want. Jota can play off either wing or through the middle. Memphis can do this too. He can play through the middle, both as a striker who is able to drop deep to retain the ball or play progressive passes and as an in-behind and box threat. He began his career as a winger, and he would be able to do similar things with the ball that he’d be able to do if he played centrally, but his orientation on the pitch will be different. In essence, he’s as flexible as Jota. Signing Memphis on a free transfer will make this move all the more appealing.
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