Stops fidgeting: Memphis Depay awaits Juventus


In the summer of 2015, Memphis Depay was seen on the roof of the world. At the age of 21 he won the championship with PSV Eindhoven, finished as the top scorer in the Dutch league (22 in 20 games and 28 in 40 in all competitions) and moved to Manchester United for £ 25 million. Everything looked promising for him, all the more so when the Red Devils were then coached by Louis van Gaal, under whose guidance Defai and the Netherlands team reached the World Cup semi-finals a year earlier.

So much hope hung in the English club for the winger, that when he asked for the shirt with the number 7 they did not hesitate to give it to him. And it’s a book with a tradition at the club worn by legends like George Best, Brian Robson, Eric Cantona, David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo. The shirt had just been vacated after the departure of Angel Di Maria and United believed the Dutchman would regain her honor from the big days.

Memphis Depay

In Lyon he provides receipts. Memphis Depay

(Photo: AFP)

But hopes aside and reality aside. Despite media comparisons to Ronaldo and Ryan Ruben, DePay struggled in the Premier League, complaining about the fact that his team played two games a week and was criticized by assistant coach Ryan Giggs for his lifestyle. Van Gaal also warned him not to repeat Di Maria’s failure at the club, but nothing helped and he was taken down to the bench.

After scoring just two goals in 29 games came a particularly disappointing half-season, in which he made only four Premier League appearances (all as a substitute) and did not score. The newspapers criticized, wrote that he holds too much of the ball and kicks far more than morals to his friends, which was reflected in his low number of cooks. In January 2017 he was sold to Lyon for £ 17 million after playing only once under Jose Mourinho.

The No. 7 shirt at United was big on himThe No. 7 shirt at United was big on him

The No. 7 shirt at United was big on him

(Photo: AFP)

To this day, DePay is considered a flop in England, but the current season has started well for him. He scored 9 goals in 13 league games in the Lyon uniform (14 goals and two assists in all competitions), before injuring his knee in December. Due to that, he was absent from the 0-1 win over Juventus in the first game of the Champions League quarter-final, was supposed to be out until the end of the season and missed Euro 2020, but the Corona break came in time for him. Depay has recovered, is back in action and will be able to play with the Netherlands team in a tournament that has been postponed for a year.

Tomorrow (Friday, 22:00) Lyon will face Juventus away in the rematch and the big question is whether they can maintain the advantage and oust Ronaldo and his teammates from the factory, even though they have not been active at all in recent months. As you may recall, the French league was completely discontinued due to the Corona crisis and was not renewed (Lyon finished seventh and did not advance to Europe). Last Friday (July 31) DePay played for the first time in 7 months, when he started in the squad and was replaced in the 80th minute by a penalty shootout loss to Paris Saint-Germain (0: 0 after 120 minutes) in the League Cup final.

Memphis DepayMemphis Depay

Depay in the game against PSG

(Photo: AFP)

Depay, who serves as captain of Lyon, arrives for the meeting with the hungry and ambitious Italian champion. He aspires to finally provide receipts after previously being considered a hedonist when he starred mostly in the music videos he uploaded to YouTube (remember mainly LA Vibes with his Dutch teammate Quincy Promes), the many tattoos on his body and the photography in which he smoked a cigar, without showing too much of his phenomenal ability on the field .

(DePay and Promes in the clip La Vibes)

And besides, his life has never been simple. As the son of a derogatory father and a Dutch mother, born in Mordrecht (a suburb of Rotterdam), he always demanded to be called Memphis only without mentioning his last name. So too has he always been written on his shirt, only “Memphis” without the last name. This is because he is not in a relationship with his father with whom he is in conflict (his parents divorced when he was 4 years old). Each time he was asked about it he asked the journalists to move on to the next question. He went through another crisis at the age of 15 when his grandfather, who was very close to him and used to accompany him to games, passed away.

Memphis DepayMemphis Depay

Life is not easy. Memphis Depay

(Photo: AFP)

One of the many tattoos on Depai’s body (sorry, Memphis) is dedicated to his grandfather and another to the date he scored his first goal for the Netherlands against Australia in the 2014 World Cup. After that exciting moment he kissed the tattoo in honor of his grandfather as a tribute to him. Last April he angered lifeless grief activists after being photographed with a tiger.

Talk of him as a troubled player began as a child (in one case he packed his things and decided to leave Eindhoven before being persuaded to stay), but the years in France helped him mature and at 26 there is an improvement trend. In four seasons, Depai has scored 53 goals and 43 assists and has become the most dangerous and important player in Lyon.

Memphis DepayMemphis Depay

With the face to Germany. Memphis Depay

(Photo: AFP)

Depay is reportedly set to leave the club now, before the end of his contract in June 2012, although coach Rudy Garcia and sporting director Juninho want him to continue. The Bild reported that Borussia Dortmund are interested in him as a replacement for Jadon Sancho, who is a candidate to move to Manchester United.

United, by the way, will receive information on any offer Dortmund make to Lyon for Depay. This is because the Red Devils included a clause in his contract of sale for Lyon at the time, which allows them to compare the offer. “When Juan Hal acquired DePay at the time he did the right thing,” Mourinho said at the time. “He knew him from the Dutch team and he is a good player, even though his 18 months at the club were not good. Due to that, the clause was included in the contract, so that the club will have control over this talent in the future.”

Memphis DePay and Stephen Bergwin are celebratingMemphis DePay and Stephen Bergwin are celebrating

DePay and Steven Bergwin in the Dutch national team

(Photo: EPA)

After DePay returned to the pitches he wrote a post in which he thanked the Dutch national team coach, Ronaldo Koeman, who assisted him, and the doctors who treated him. His teammate, Georginio Vinaldom, greeted him on social media and in response, the English champions’ fans called for the two to unite in their team uniform.

Until his future is clear, the big task awaits Depai tomorrow. “Juventus have experienced players who know what to do and can reach the final, however we have a lot of young people who have not experienced the pressure of the Champions League, but it seems,” he said in an interview with UEFA website. “We are not afraid of Juventus and they know it. If we do that, it’s going to be great. ”


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