Barcelona striker Memphis Depay has made just three appearances for the Catalan giants this season and has expressed frustration at his lack of playing time at the Camp Nou.
The Dutchman, who was the team’s joint top-scorer alongside Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang last season, is on international duty for the Netherlands and has been telling ESPN he wants to play more, as reported by Voetbal International.
“Of course you need rhythm, but I’m fit. I train more and harder because I play less, but the rhythm of the game is better. Luckily I’ve had a starting place in La Liga for the past few weeks, but that’s not enough,” he said. “The last game went well. I was replaced after an hour, I was craving more. There is often more space in the last 25 to 30 minutes, and I can use that with my game. I think I still have the power, it’s not just going to go away. I had good preparation, I’m fit, no injuries. I feel good.”
Memphis’ three performances all took place in September. He came off the bench in the Champions League win over Viktoria Pilsen and started in La Liga games against Cadiz and Elche.
The Dutchman last impressed against Elche and scored in the 3-0 win at the Camp Nou. However, due to the wealth of attacking options available to Xavi this season, he faces intense competition for a starting spot.
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Memphis now have a chance to enjoy some serious game time with the Netherlands. The Oranje meet Poland and Belgium in the Nations League and the Barca forward is looking forward to the action.
“I just haven’t played much in the past few weeks, not what I’m used to,” he said. “Then it feels familiar to come back here because I know I’m going to play here. That’s why I’m particularly grateful, happy and motivated that I can be important here again.”
Barcelona manager Xavi is reportedly happy with Memphis despite limiting his minutes this season. The coach was ready to use the forward in Barca’s last two games because he’s been training well and showing a great attitude despite being on the bench at the start of the season, as reported by Mundo Deportivo.
Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal has also spoken about Memphis’ situation at the Camp Nou, telling a press conference that he would be happier if the striker played more regularly, Football Oranje report.
“The storm is over and I have to say I really enjoyed it. The only two are actually Memphis and Frenkie de Jong, but they play regularly now so I can’t say things haven’t gone well in the transfer period,” he said. “I would be happier if Memphis and Frenkie played more regularly, but Frenkie has hit ninety minutes a few times, which is nice.”
Memphis were advised to leave Barcelona in the summer but stayed at the Camp Nou. The forward has since insisted he is “fully committed to the cause” in what may be his final season with the club as he is out of contract next summer.
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