Date:22nd September 2022 at 2:36pm
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Despite seemingly being close to leaving Barcelona in the summer amid links of a deadline day move to Chelsea, Memphis Depay’s improved form under Xavi is positive, but his situation remains open ahead of the January transfer window.

What’s the word?

That is according to transfer guru Fabrizio Romano, who has informed Caught Offside of the 28-year-old’s current situation at Camp Nou via his exclusive Substack column.

The Italian journalist covered the “crazy summer” which almost saw the Netherlands international leave the La Liga club altogether, and despite a resurgence in form, Romano concluded that the player’s long-term future is very much open.

He said (via Caught Offside): “It ended up being a bit of a crazy summer for Memphis Depay, but he’s ended up staying at Barcelona despite the club being prepared to terminate his contract.

“So, what next? I think the Depay situation is still open in the months ahead. He’s a great professional and that’s why Xavi is playing him, but for January it will depend on the proposals for Memphis.

“At the moment, everything is quiet and nothing will be decided before the World Cup.”

Big news for Chelsea

Make no qualms about it, Depay is a different player to the one we saw at Manchester United between 2015 and 2017.

His position is different for a start, having used data and analytics to decipher a move to Lyon, which saw him adjust into to the well-rounded centre-forward that we see today. A return of 131 goal contributions in the form of 76 goals and 55 assists in just under five seasons in France was enough to put him on the radar of Barcelona.

The Netherlands international then enjoyed a positive first campaign in La Liga, scoring 12 goals and chipping in with a further two assists in 28 top-flight appearances.

Indeed, he scored nearly twice as many goals in 10 World Cup qualifiers for his country (12) as he did in 53 games for United (seven), a clear sign that the 28-year-old has improved with the passage of time.

However, whilst the Blues have signed his former Blaugrana teammate Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, the arrival of Depay would bring something extra to a Chelsea team which has struggled to create opportunities this season, with just eight ‘big chances’ in their first six Premier League games.

Depay’s match averages of 63.43 touches, 42.7 carries and 3.87 shot-creating actions make him an unorthodox yet dangerous threat up top, with Graham Potter bound to appreciate such work rate in the attacking line.

The Netherlands star, who was recently dubbed “hotter than the hinges on Hell’s gate” by Ray Hudson on Twitter, still finds himself linked with a move to Chelsea, so as we approach the winter transfer window, it will be interesting to see whether Todd Boehly and co can secure his illustrious services.