Memphis Depay set to make his Barça debut

Barça's new signing is likely to make his debut against Girona on Saturday evening

| sport

Ivan San Antonio

Two days after his official presentation, Memphis Depay will make his Barça debut on Saturday evening against Girona at the Estadi Johan Cruyff. This will be Ronald Koeman's side's second friendly of pre-season, after beating Nàstic de Tarragona 4-0 on Wednesday night.

First minutes as a Barça player

Memphis's Netherlands were knocked out of Euro 2020 at the quarter final stage, losing against the Czech Republic on 27 June. After that, he was given several weeks off to rest and re-charge his batteries. Despite only training with his new team mates on three occasions, Koeman already knows what the player is capable of, having worked with him previously during his time at the helm of the national team. He looks set to make his Barça debut this Saturday evening against Girona. His aim between now and the LaLiga opener on 15 August will be to settle into the dressing room and get to know his new team mates, as his integration on the pitch will be made easier given his relationship with the Dutch coach.

De Jong returns to action

Frenkie de Jong, one of Memphis' compatriots, will also help him settle in both on and off the pitch. The Dutch centre midfielder has now returned from his holidays and is also likely to get minutes in tonight's fixture against Girona. Koeman's first team players are gradually returning to training, following a summer that has been interrupted with various international tournaments in the shape of the European Championships, Copa América and the Olympic Games.

In fact, there are very few first team players who began pre-season training from the very beginning. Specifically, the only players who were not involved in international tournaments were Piqué, Riqui Puig, Neto, Sergi Roberto, Umtiti, Dest and Pjanic. Collado and Iñaki Peña - two players who represented Barça B last season - have also been involved in the group.

Barça B players being phased out

With Barça B also starting their pre-season friendlies, Koeman will no longer rely on several reserve team players who featured in the first pre-season friendly against Nàstic. This is the case of Jordi Escobar, Arnau Tenas, Peque Polo and Hiroki Abe, who will now return to Barça B. Barça's first team squad will gradually start to take shape over the coming weeks. However, many things can happen between now and the end of the summer. For the time being, Koeman will continue to test various options.

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