Arsenal linked with Netherlands and Barcelona striker Depay2 min read
Having played in the Premier League already, most fans who watch the league would dismiss Memphis Depay as a domestic tiger. The Dutchman scored goals aplenty when he was in the Dutch top-flight, but flopped at Manchester United. A spell in France with Lyon reinvigorated his ailing career, but another flop has arrived in a flat debut season with Barcelona.
Arsenal, though, have had some luck with reviving the careers of ailing talents in their prime in the past. Reports in Spain suggest, then, that the Gunners might be those among the most likely to make a move for Depay. Several clubs want the player, but his insistence that he will stay at Barcelona has made finding a buyer needlessly tough.
This means that, for Arsenal, they might be able to offer the profile of club and of city that could entice the flamboyant forward. Despite having a relatively poor season in Spain after a fast start, Depay has shown in the past that he can be an effective player.
With the Gunners having a massive hole in their forward line, they could look to do a quick deal with Barcelona. Previous Dutch forwards have thrived at Arsenal, and Depay might be the ideal profile of centre forward for the system Mikel Arteta employs.
The North London giants are seen as the team most likely to land the player in England. Though teams in Italy have also been linked – most strongly Juventus – the player is believed to fancy a second crack at English football.
Having flopped at United and being written off as an immature showpony, Depay will want to show those in the English game that he simply arrived at the wrong club and at the wrong time to really show his best form.
Can Arsenal make a deal for Depay stick?
The biggest challenges are the same as ever – salary and a lack of UEFA Champions League football. Just about every other club linked with Depay has some form of European football to offer. While Arsenal have the UEFA Europa League after finishing fifth, other teams keen to land the Dutchman might have more to offer.
Arsenal can counter this with a high salary, though they might also still struggle to match his deal at FCB. Despite being under financial pressure, Depay was still among the higher earners at the club given his veteran status as an international. Therefore, the Gunners might find it hard to offer a salary that fits in exactly with what Depay earns now.
However, the chance to live in London and to help front up a project in need of a marquee forward could appeal to Depay. Having been at his best when he is the offensive protagonist, he would make an exciting signing for the team.
With competition across the continent and a price tag under £20m, though, it is believed that Arsenal will be keen to push the boat out to land the player.