Netherlands having a national debate over Memphis Depay

The former Man United and Lyon forward has joined the Catalan giants

| sport

If Spanish football is always debating the No 9 position, in the Netherlands there’s something similar with the No 10. Memphis Depay, now confirmed as a Barca player, is getting talked about a lot. Not everyone is praising his performances at the Euros.

He’s the big name in attack, but some want more from him. Wim Kieft, a European champions with Netherlands in 1988, said: “You can’t try and make it so every ball you touch will be decisive,” he told De Telegraaf.

“Sometimes you have to play it simple, don’t always look for the most complicated or aesthetically pleasing solution.

“That’s why Depay loses the ball so much, for his ambition to always play to the limit … he has to learn to take better decisions.”

Kieft compared him to Lukaku and Benzema. “They are forwards who know how to play it easy, who trust in their reading of the game, who know to wait for the right moment to sting the rival. (Depay is) too easy to defend.

“Memphis has to look more for his team-mates and play it simply, not with too many unnecessary details, because that makes him fail sometimes and diminish his confidence.”

Even more critical was analyst Johan Derksen. He said “right now he’s a second rate player, not a top level star. (He) lost the ball 25 times in a game, Barcelona will not accept that. This is a Euros, not a Lyon game against Saint Etienne. He knows that all of Europe is watching and he wants to be seen, that sums it up.

“He makes mistakes and keeps doing strange thing. To be able to be the reference point and get your team-mates to adapt to you, you have to earn it, and right now he’s not doing that.”

Meanwhile Eric Meijers, a Dutch youth coach, also noted: “He has to be the leader of the team. He scored a penalty but he made a lot of mistakes. And he was not right when he said he didn’t get on well on the pitch with Weghorst. He can give a lot more than what we have seen of him.”

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