Courted by Barcelona, Memphis Depay should, except surprise, finish the season in Lyon. It will not be too much to allow the Rhone to hold the shock in the race for the title.
Identified by Ronald Koeman as the worthy successor of Luis Suarez at FC Barcelona, Memphis Depay should finally end the season at Olympique Lyonnais. At the end of the contract next June, the Dutch international will be able to sign up with the club of his choice for a generous signing bonus. An outcome that would suit everyone. First eager to join Catalonia, Memphis would have made a reason to stay in Lyon. “I’m focused on what I’m doing here,” he said at the microphone of Canal + after the victory against Lens (3-2) last week.
Rudi Garcia could then count on his master to play to try to steal the crown of PSG in this season of Ligue 1 which promises to be more undecided than usual. Because if Memphis is on Barça’s shelves, he owes it not only to his status in the national team and his privileged relationship with his former coach. Ronald Koeman’s protégé is having a very classy season on the banks of the Rhône. The former Manchester United is involved in 16 goals (11 goals and 5 assists) in 19 days of Ligue 1. A performance that reminds us that Memphis is not a player like the others.
The key to Rudi Garcia’s system
In the trio that make up the Lyon attack, Depay does not hesitate to win to open the space in depth for Kadewere and Toko-Ekambi or combine in the midfield. Evidenced by his match against Lens where he will illustrate by coming to seek the ball lower on the ground. First to project and score the 1-0 goal (39e minute) then to put away the heel for Paqueta on the action which led to the penalty caused by Maxwell Cornet (52e). Memphis therefore has a real role of facilitator and link in Lyon’s offensive game. His stalls also allow the famous connection with Lucas Paqueta and Houssem Aouar. If the Lyon interplay is often cited as one of the best in the championship, the spaces created by Memphis are not totally foreign.
Captain of the ship
Appointed captain by Rudi Garcia at the end of 2019, Depay has established himself as the real leader of the Lyon dressing room. “He really wants, he’s someone who wins in him. We need leadership in this team, ”praises his coach. A captain who carries out his boat, as evidenced by the draw obtained on the lawn of Rennes on Saturday (2-2). Already decisive three days earlier, Memphis sounded the revolt of the Gones at Roazhon Park to allow his people to obtain an unexpected point until the 79e minute. A goal “that only he is capable of putting”, according to his coach, and an assist that allow Lyon to avoid a first defeat since September. Since his arrival in 2017, Depay’s adventure in Lyon will not necessarily have looked like a long calm river, between injuries and the desire to leave. But the former PSV Eindhoven player seems to have found stability and consistency that could well allow Lyon to maintain the hope of capping PSG in the title race.