How Barcelona could line up next season with Memphis Depay

Nicholas Hughes
How Barcelona could line up next season with Memphis Depay

Memphis Depay has reportedly made his decision and will sign for Barcelona on a free transfer from Lyon in the summer.

That is provided, however, that the Blaugrana retain Ronald Koeman as manager with Depay eager to work with his countryman and former national team manager again.

Marca have said that the former Manchester United forward has his heart set on the Nou Camp and he could be about to line up alongside Lionel Messi and co.

READ MORE: Could Aguero’s arrival convince Messi to stay at Barcelona?

Barcelona largely failed to adequately replace Luis Suarez when he left in the summer and are still yet to get the best out of Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele.

Those two and Martin Braithwaite have only 20 goals and 12 assists in 89 combined appearances in La Liga. Depay has 19 goals and 10 assists on his own in Ligue 1.

Memphis’ 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.

Barcelona with Depay in a 4-3-3

Barcelona - Football tactics and formations

Ansu Fati will also return to the fold next season after missing the bulk of this season due to a knee ligament injury.

Despite his versatility, Depay seems to have developed into a fully-fledged centre forward and plays the bulk of his minutes as the No.9 for Lyon.

Assuming he would continue in that role for Koeman’s side, it would mean a very interesting scenario for Koeman and Barcelona.

It would mean that Griezmann, Dembele and Fati all have to fight for the same position on the left-wing, or even be left out altogether if Koeman plans on playing a back three.

Barcelona with Depay in a 3-5-2

Barcelona - Football tactics and formations

At the time of writing, Barcelona’s last five La Liga starting Xis have seen the side play in a 3-5-2, with Messi most often paired with Griezmann in the two-up top.

If that would continue to be the case, then Depay would naturally join Messi up front. But in a three-man attack, the Dutchman would likely operate through the middle, forcing the other players to prove their worth for a position in the team.