The past month or so have been quite weird for Barcelona striker Memphis Depay.
The Netherlands international joined the club in the summer of 2021 on a free transfer, arriving at the request of then-manager Ronald Koeman. But with the Dutch tactician getting sacked within months, Depay had to win over new manager Xavi Hernandez.
Despite struggling with injuries, the 28-year-old managed to make a valuable contribution in his debut season and convinced Xavi of his worth, finishing the 2021/22 term as the club’s join top-scorer.
However, come the summer window, the former Manchester United forward was suddenly deemed surplus to requirements as Barça signed Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha while renewing Ousmane Dembele’s contract.
It rendered Depay a mere squad option and the Dutchman was told to leave the club. A move to Juventus seemed close, until it suddenly fell through. Even until the deadline day, he was continuously linked with an exit, only to end up staying put.
The uncertainty over his future meant that Depay did not play much in the early parts of the campaign and found himself way down the pecking order at Spotify Camp Nou.
Despite that, Mundo Deportivo reports that the Netherlands striker showed great professionalism and attitude in training, which has been the reason why he has now started two La Liga matches in a row.
Indeed, the report states that manager Xavi has been left impressed and delighted by Depay’s commitment and application in training sessions even though he almost left the club at one point and has struggled for regular minutes on the field.
The Dutchman’s teammates have also been impressed with his desire to succeed at Barcelona, all of which has contributed to a sudden increase in his game-time over the past week
Indeed, Depay started the La Liga clash against Cadiz over a week ago and then featured from kickoff once again this past weekend vs Elche, in which he even got his first goal of the season
.After not playing a single minute in the first four league games of the season, Depay has clocked 116 minutes in the previous two matches. It may well be an indicator that the Dutchman might have eked past Ferran Torres in the pecking order of things.
Nonetheless, Xavi and Barça seem happy with how Depay has dealt with the entire situation after having been nearly forced out of the club in the summer.