Ronald Koeman has been waiting for Memphis Depay and, after two transfer windows without his compatriot’s arrival being confirmed, Barcelona have now delivered by signing the Netherlands forward this summer.
Memphis has signed a three-year contract at the Camp Nou and he’ll land in Catalonia once his part in this summer’s European Championship has come to an end.
Koeman and Memphis worked well together during the coach’s time in charge of the Dutch national team. He always played the Lyon star and in 18 appearances he contributed 11 goals and 11 assists.
The affection is mutual, too. Memphis‘ desire to join Barcelona was largely driven by Koeman‘s presence at the Camp Nou.
“Most of Barcelona‘s forwards want the ball at their feet,” Koeman said, leading into praise the forward.
“Memphis can be used as a starting point, but he can also go deep. He’s strong, dynamic and can play with both feet on either side.”
Having spent most of his career as a wide player, the 27-year-old has featured as a false No.9 in recent seasons and when he worked under Koeman‘s instructions. In three years playing there, he’s scored 49 goals.
It remains to be seen where Koeman will use him at Barcelona, as there is a lot of competition in attack. Lionel Messi – should he renew – is there and can play in that central position, as can Sergio Aguero, Martin Braithwaite and Antoine Griezmann.
Memphis is used to being the focal point in any attack he plays in and, much like Griezmann after his move from Atletico Madrid, he’ll have to adapt to playing a more secondary role in a front line dominated by Messi.
If anybody knows how to get the best out of him, though, it’s Koeman. The coach almost certainly has a plan for his countryman after a year-long pursuit.