Memphis and five La Liga stars who could leave after one season

Martin Macdonald
Martin Macdonald 26 Jun 2022 22:14 CEST 4 min read
Barcelona forward Memphis Depay

The financial impact of the Coronvirus pandemic hit most La Liga clubs hard and that was reflected in the spending, or lack of it, in the summer of 2021.

Usual big spenders like Real Madrid and Barcelona were forced to be a bit more frugal.

Madrid's only acquisition of note was Eduardo Camavinga, while the Blaugrana largely had to rely on free transfers until Ferran Torres was signed for big-money in January.

In the summer of 2022, there is expected to be much more turnover, with Madrid already splashing €100 million on Aurelien Tchouameni and Barcelona set to spend up to €60m on Robert Lewandowski.

A number of players signed last summer could also leave after disappointing campaigns. Here are five who could go.

Memphis Depay (Barcelona)

On paper, the signing of Memphis Depay on a free transfer was a good one. His numbers from Lyon were excellent, but again he has struggled to make the step up to a truly elite side, in a similar way to his situation at Manchester United.

At Lyon he was the undisputed main man, but he struggled with the lack of that profile at Camp Nou, while a series of injuries have impacted his time so far.

A return of 13 goals in 38 games is certainly not terrible, but the January acquisitions of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Ferran and Adama Traore thrust him down the pecking order.

Barca will listen to offers.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Barcelona)

Due to his poor performances and overall attitude in his last days at Arsenal, nobody will have predicted the positive impact that Aubameyang would make at Barca.

He is the number one striker at the club currently and scored 13 goals in 23 games since his January move on a free transfer.

However, as FootballTransfers revealed in April, he is one of 24 players that Barcelona have put up for sale to fund what could be the craziest transfer window in the club's recent history this summer.

Matheus Cunha (Atletico Madrid)

The biggest spenders in La Liga last summer were Atletico Madrid, who splurged €81 million on new talent.

A good portion of that was spent on Matheus Cunha from Hertha.

What makes this a bizarre signing is that Atletico already had a number of options in the positions in which Cunha plays, while Antoine Griezmann also arrived in the summer to provide even more competition.

Matheus Cunha, Atletico Madrid, 2021/22

He made 34 appearances for Atletico this past season and no less than 26 came from the bench. This hasn't worked out, and Los Colchoneros would sell at the right price.

Rodrigo De Paul (Atletico Madrid)

Another summer signing for Atletico was Rodrigo De Paul.

One of the best midfielders in Serie A in 2020-21, the Uruguayan scored nine goals and recorded nine assists for Udinese.

His performances earned him a transfer to Atletico but it hasn't worked out for him in Spain as of yet, with just five goal contributions in 29 La Liga games.

De Paul could be set for a return to Italy just a year after leaving, but Atletico will want close to the €35 million that they paid for him.

Arnaut Danjuma (Villarreal)

Not all players on our list might leave Spain due to underperformance, but rather the opposite, as Arnaut Danjuma might have earned himself a big-money move to the Premier League thanks to his exploits for Villarreal.

Arnaut Danjuma, Villarreal, 2021/22

Following a successful spell at Bournemouth which saw Danjuma bag 24 goal contributions in 35 appearances in the Championship, he made the move to Spain last summer when the Yellow Submarine offered to pay €25m for his signature.

Though his goalscoring has went down at a higher level, his return of 16 goals and five assists in 2021/22 was still very impressive.

Danjuma has also kept some of his best performances on the grandest stage in Europe as he scored six goals in the Champions League this last season.