Memphis: from Barcelona franchise player post-Messi to oblivion

In football, a year seems like a lifetime.

memphis depay played his first league match with Barcelona on August 15, 2021. Ten days had passed since the president Joan Laporta tell the patriarch George Messi that his son could not continue in the team, and the Camp Nou was preparing to start an uncertain era at the hands of ronald koemana coach who his president did not want but who held on in office because the board did not know who to put.

Memphis, who on the day of his presentation had proudly explained how, at the age of five, his grandfather had given him a Barça shirt, he saw himself as the new king of the mambo. Barça went over Real Sociedad (4-2). Griezmann he was still a starter before he was invited to sign on loan from Atlético. And those who are now the last two Barcelona strikers, Memphis and BraithwaiteThey acted as heroes. The Dutchman stirred up the team, emboldened the crowd into believing that the post-Messi era would be more appreciative of him as leader, and scored his first assist. The Dane, today little less than the antichrist, scored two goals and gave up another one. In football, we used to say, a year seems like a lifetime.

Memphis, which at the end of last season got excited about a renewal (he only signed for two seasons when he was recruited from Olympique de Lyon with the letter of freedom), has been negotiating his departure for days after Xavi Hernández confirmed his little relevance in the current template. With Lewandowski, raphinha, Dembele, Ansu Fati, Fernando Torres Y aubameyang ahead, and only Braithwaite behind, the executives of the Barça club need the Dutchman to leave his locker as soon as possible to facilitate the registration of Jules Koundé, the only one of the incorporations that remain to be registered in LaLiga. Despite the fact that the leaders of Barcelona want the former Sevilla defender to make his debut at Anoeta next Sunday, the club lives between the urgency to release ballast, the delicate negotiation for the salary adjustment demanded from Gerard Piqué Y Sergio Busquetsand the hope of reaching August 31 fulfilling the aspirations of his coach, who claims two full-backs (Mark Alonso is agreed for the left) and the arrival of the Portuguese Bernard Silva.

Memphis, at least, has assumed that his career at Barcelona has come to an end to embark on a new path at Juventus Allegri. Although he intends to do it under his conditions. The Dutchman understands that if he rejected better offers a year ago to meet Ronald Koeman at the Camp Nou and without a transfer cost involved, if it is Barça who do not want him now, they must do so with the freedom letter. And if he does it with the money that he still has to collect for the season that he still had signed, the better.

When both parties finish adjusting positions, the stage of a player who came to be Barcelona’s franchise footballer, who saw how his great supporter, Ronald Koeman, was fired after a fall in Vallecas, whose body burst before Christmas, will end because he played everything, and that when he returned from two months of injury he found that he no longer had a place. His attack partners would no longer be Jutgla either Abde. The club had recruited Ferran Torres, Aubameyang and Adama in the winter market, Dembélé would be forgiven despite the fact that the club announced that he would no longer play as a Barça player, and Memphis was relegated to the stage. If he had played the first 16 league games as a starter and in full, in the last 14 he only once again played 90 minutes. His incidence on the team was gone in the blink of an eye.

Even so, the Dutchman was Barcelona’s top scorer last season with 13 goals (the same as Aubameyang, although this one in just under four months). Although he always left the feeling that his football languished when, how could it be otherwise, he realized that he could not be the one to fill Messi’s void. He didn’t score a single Memphis goal in his six Champions League group stage games, from which Barca were banished. And in the Europa League he could only see the net once. It was no use. It was that night that Eintracht made the Camp Nou their particular garden of Eden.

Memphis hopes to revitalize his career at Juventus, a team that should allow him to shoot ahead of the World Cup dispute with the Netherlands, where he continues to be a reference. And Barcelona will have to ask themselves if, after Memphis, Aubameyang should also take the exit door to continue lowering the wage bill.

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