Aguero out, Depay in: How Barcelona could line up with Memphis

Martin Macdonald
ISTANBUL, 24-03-2021, Ataturk Olympic Stadium. European Qualifiers Group G for the FIFA World Cup 2022. Turkey – Netherlands. Netherlands player Memphis Depay

ISTANBUL, 24-03-2021, Ataturk Olympic Stadium. European Qualifiers Group G for the FIFA World Cup 2022. Turkey – Netherlands. Netherlands player Memphis Depay

Euro 2020 has only got started but Barcelona aren't waiting around to rebuild their squad for next season.

Having already signed Eric Garcia and Sergio Aguero from Manchester City, the Catalan club pulled off anoyther huge deal on Saturday.

To the surprise of no one that has been following European football this season, Barcelona finally confirmed the signing of Memphis Depay on Twitter.

The forward now joins the club on a two-year deal afer his contract at Lyon ran to an end this summer.

Barcelona largely failed to adequately replace Luis Suarez when he left last summer for Atletico Madrid and are still yet to get the best out of Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele, who have both been tested in the centre-forward position this season.

Those two and Martin Braithwaite have only 21 goals and 12 assists in 95 combined appearances in La Liga. Depay has 20 goals and 12 assists on his own in Ligue 1.

Depay's versatility can see him play anywhere across the front three or even as a No.10 playing off the main centre forward.

Assuming Messi keeps his usual position on the right-hand side, Depay would fit perfectly either through the middle or off the left wing.

One man who will be hoping that Depay is shifted out wide is Sergio Aguero, who recently signed on a free transfer from Manchester City. At 33-years-old, it is unclear whether the Argentine will be a starter for Barca or a squad player.

The acquisition of Depay would suggest the latter.

Ansu Fati will also return to the fold next season after missing the bulk of this season due to a knee ligament injury, but as Barca nurse him back to match fitness he may not be an automatic starter in the opening matches of the campaign.

The most likely scenario for the moment would be Griezmann playing through the middle with Lionel Messi on the right and Depay on the left.

Everyone knows my name has been linked with Barcelona for some time. I want to play for Ronald Koeman
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However, Depay could certainly play as the centre-forward with the Frenchman in a more withdrawn role.

In midfield, Pedri has earned his place in the starting XI and isn't going anywhere, and with Barca failing to sign Gini Wijnaldum, that will likely mean veteran Sergio Busquets keeping his spot too alongside Frenkie de Jong.

Sergino Dest should continue at right-back despite the signing of Emerson Royal, with Jordi Alba on the opposite wing.

Eric Garcia, another free transfer signing from Man City, should start in the centre of defence alongside Gerard Pique.

Clement Lenglet, Samuel Umtiti, Ronald Araujo, and Oscar Mingueza are options too.

Marc-Andre ter Stegen will of course keep his place in goal.

Barcelona starting XI with Memphis Depay

Barcelona starting XI with Memphis Depay

Barcelona starting XI with Memphis Depay