Ex-Barcelona striker Neymar has spoken to Memphis Depay and offered some advice to club coach Xavi about the Dutch international.
The two stars engaged in an Instagram Live session on Tuesday, March 1 in which Neymar explained to Xavi why he needed to start the Dutchman, as seen by journalist Reshad Rahman.
Memphis returned from injury as a substitute in Barcelona’s 4-0 win over Athletic last time out in La Liga. The former Lyonnais only played the last eight minutes at Camp Nou but still found the back of the net.
The 28-year-old’s strike was his ninth of the season for Barcelona in La Liga. Memphis remains the team’s top scorer so far in the 2021-22 campaign ahead of strikers Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Luuk de Jong.
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Memphis speaks after return
Memphis spoke after scoring the final goal in Barcelona’s 4-0 win and admitted he was happy to be back in action for the Catalan giants. The striker hadn’t played since January’s Super Cup loss to Real Madrid but was happy to finally return, as Football Oranje reported.
“I didn’t expect to be out for so long, but I’m happy to be back,” he said. “The team is in great shape. We also have more strikers now. You immediately see what is happening. We score three goals in ten minutes. The winter recruits are going very well.
Memphis also shared his thoughts on the team’s recent improvement in form and praised coach Xavi for his impact since taking over. He added: “He changed our training methods. Opponent defenders now suffer when encountering us.
Barca bolstered their attack in the January transfer window by signing Ferran Torres, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Adama Traore. The forward line has impressed in recent games, scoring 12 goals in the team’s last 3 games.
Will Memphis stay at Barcelona?
The arrival of the new forwards has increased competition in Barca’s attack and also led to speculation over Memphis’ future at Camp Nou. Serie A side Napoli and former club Lyon have both been linked with the Dutchman.
Xavi was asked about Memphis at a press conference, ahead of his return against Athletic, and insisted the striker remains an important player despite January signings arriving.
“There is more competition throughout the team but Memphis will be important for us, as will Clement Lenglet,” he said. “It’s good for me to have more players to choose from and for the players to improve, make sure they give their all. They are two important players and it will depend on them.
However, Memphis is only under contract with Barcelona until 2023, which means the club could consider a summer transfer to avoid losing him on a free transfer next year when his contract expires.
The Dutchman may also want to consider his future at the end of the season if he struggles to gain playing time by the end of the campaign, especially as the Catalans continue to be linked with a big money transfer for Erling Haaland.
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