The Dutch international forward departs Camp Nou for a new chapter with Diego Simeone (and fellow former Barça forward Antoine Griezmann).
Dutch international forward Memphis Depay is officially an Atlético Madrid player after completing a transfer from FC Barcelona. Multiple sources have indicated that Depay’s deal will cost around $3.10 million plus add-ons through 2028. Additionally, Catalan outlets have suggested that the agreement includes a buy option for Atleti winger Yannick Carrasco for less than $20 million, but however, that detail has yet to be confirmed.
Due to injury and a bevy of world-class attacking options at Barcelona, the Dutchman could only rack up four appearances across La Liga and all European competitions this season. As Barça continued signing players like Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha last summer, Depay increasingly fell out of favor as it relates to the Catalan club’s big-picture plans.
The Memphis sweepstakes began last summer for the same reasons. However, clubs decided to wait on pursuing the 28-year-old, hoping to pay a lesser fee as his two-year contract dwindled toward expiration. In fact, Depay’s contract at Barcelona was set to expire in the summer, making this the perfect time to capitalize on his services.
With main attacking threats Joao Felix and Matheus Cunha recently moving away from Atleti to the Premier League, the Spanish club looked at Depay as an effective yet club-friendly option. Despite his recent lack of game time, the former Camp Nou striker has 146 career goals to his name. In other words, he knows how to put the ball in the net.
Under manager Diego Simeone, Depay will have the chance to crack the starting XI in a striking tandem alongside Antoine Griezmann — a former Barcelona player himself. If the duo is dynamic as the club foresees, they’ll provide the goals necessary to remain in the top four of La Liga, where the club currently sits as of this writing.
Memphis Depay Atlético Madrid Transfer Details
Deal agreed on: Jan. 18, 2023
Reported years: 5
Reported transfer fee: $3,100,000
Depay’s estimated market value: $20,690,000 via Transfermarkt
Memphis Depay Stats Per 90
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How Depay Fits at Atlético Madrid
Depay will have a chance to showcase his quality in numerous ways playing for Simeone. Despite primarily playing centrally, Memphis has shown the ability to be just as effective on the left flank of the attacking group. When it comes to Depay, his ability to play both positions effectively has never been in question. It’s always been his injury history that has kept him sidelined at the world’s biggest clubs.
Since 2012, Depay has had 10 significant injuries, including a cruciate ligament rupture that sidelined the forward for 199 days. So far in his career, he’s missed 423 days and 64 games combined across his stints at PSV, Lyon, and Barça. Rightfully so, his injury history is a glaring subject surrounding his availability for big games across Europe.
But for less than $5 million and still shy of his 30th birthday, the juice looks to be more than worth the squeeze.
It’s worth noting that a player can’t be bought or sold with a failed medical examination. Assuming Memphis’s health holds up, let’s see how he slots in at Atleti.
Not only is this player a highly skilled goal-scorer, but he also has a knack for setting up teammates and creating chances. His vision, alongside his technical ability, is elite. Even if he doesn’t have the ball, he’s always looking for it. In one-on-one situations, forget about it; defenders often call for help as he marches into the box with an array of dribbling skills and flair to burst into open spaces.
The majority of Atlético’s games have deployed a 4-4-2 formation. As Simeone enjoys his striking tandem of Álvaro Morata and Antoine Griezemann, expect to see Depay deployed as a rotational piece rather than a focal point until he proves there’s no remaining rust after missing such significant chunks of game time. However, if he does manage some early starting nods on matchday, a linkup with Griezmann could cause the opposition significant problems due to their dynamic abilities and shared desire to incorporate teammates in the attack.
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