Depay and Griezmann connection impresses Barcelona boss Koeman

  • Chris Myson
  • Updated: August 1, 2021, 12:57 CEST
  • 4 min read
Memphis Depay has impressed Ronald Koeman

Memphis Depay has impressed Ronald Koeman

Ronald Koeman has been encouraged by the early connection displayed by new signing Memphis Depay and Antoine Griezmann at Barcelona.

Depay, who has joined from Lyon on a free transfer, scored a fine individual goal in Barca’s 3-0 pre-season friendly win at Stuttgart on Saturday.

Griezmann and Depay both had a hand in the second goal scored by Yusuf Demir as Barca made it three straight wins in pre-season.

France forward Griezmann has been strongly linked with a return to former club Atletico Madrid this summer as Barca look to slash their wage bill.

But reports this weekend suggested Barca had ultimately elected not to sell Griezmann, with the club eager not to repeat their mistake of selling Luis Suarez to their title rivals last year.

Surely people know what Memphis is about now - above all, he has shown himself to be a goalscorer.
- Koeman on Depay

And Koeman appears to be delighted with his striking options, as Lionel Messi nears a new deal and with Sergio Aguero having also signed.

"Surely people know what Memphis is about now because he has been at Manchester United and then the last few years at Lyon," said Koeman, who also coached Depay while in charge of the Netherlands.

"Above all, he has shown himself to be a goalscorer.

"[Against Stuttgart] he showed he can score as he scored the first with an individual piece of play.

"He showed his quality with his play, his goal, and showed the strength and speed he brings to the team.

Griezmann, Messi, Depay and Aguero would give Koeman plenty of options

Griezmann, Messi, Depay and Aguero would give Koeman plenty of options

"His partnership with Antoine Griezmann was very good.

"His connection with Antoine gives us a lot. We have players who can play in different positions in attack.

"We'll also have Sergio Aguero. I hope Leo returns too.

"So, we have quality up front and we are going to have competition."

Salzburg and Juve up next for Barcelona

After wins over Gimnastic, Girona and Stuttgart, Barca have two more friendlies to come.

They play Red Bull Salzburg on Wednesday before the Joan Gamper Trophy final against Juventus on Sunday.

Koeman is pleased with where Barca stand after their comfortable win over Stuttgart, in which Riqui Puig also netted.

The head coach added: "I'm really very happy about the performance as I think we did well against a team who had done more work in pre-season because they started sooner than we started.

"We played well and had good ball possession. We scored two great goals in the first half and, in the second, we controlled the game and had even more chances to score more goals.

"We gave minutes and game time to several players and, overall, it was the standard that we like to show."

Barcelona start their La Liga season at home to Real Sociedad on August 15.