Landmark chasing Depay one goal from goalscoring achievement
Barcelona’s Dutch international hitman Memphis Depay has taken Europe by storm in the last year.
The Moordrecht-native and PSV Eindhoven academy product has – to date – hit 25-goals and add 13-assists across a combined thirty-seven appearances for club and country this calendar year, and is unquestionably one of the hottest properties on the continent on the back of scintillating form that saw him hit a brace against Montenegro three nights ago.
That level of performance netted Depay a dream move to Barcelona this summer after breaking away from Ligue 1 outfit Olympique Lyonnais, and it is that same level of performance that has him just one goal away from drawling level with Wesley Sneijder for 10th on the all-time goal-scoring list for the Netherlands.
Depay is on the cusp of a truly illustrious list; a who’s who in the pantheon of total football. Should he hit his 31st goal tonight, Depay would be within striking distance of a triumvirate of legendary figures; Johan Cruijff & Abe Lenstra (33), and Faas Wilkes (35). Ruud van Nistelrooij (also 35), Dennis Bergkamp & Arjen Robben (37), and Patrick Kluivert (40) are also just down the street and given Depay only recently entering his prime while still just being 27, there is still plenty of time for the Blaugrana forward to cement himself in Oranje lore.
A career that could have gone very differently
Though highly respected now across Europe, there was a period where many felt Depay was nothing more than a flash in the pan that would truly never make it at the highest level.
After smashing the Eredivisie during his time at the Philips Stadion in Eindhoven, Depay elevated himself into one of the most wanted properties on the continent in the summer of 2015 after hitting 22-league goals while adding a further 6-goals in nine appearances in Europe. This came off the back of the prior 2014-15 campaign when he bagged 12-goals in the league, for a combined total of 42-goals in 83-appearances across two brilliant seasons.
But his time at Old Trafford was a massive disappointment. Amidst interest from rivals Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain, United secured a deal for Depay that started brightly on the continent but not in the Premier League. It took him nearly two months to open his domestic account; one of only two Premier League goals he would ever score for United before leaving in the wake of abject failure the following season during the January window.
The quick cutting of ties from United allowed Depay a credible club to rebound through, and rebound he did. All told during his time in the Rhône valley with Lyon, Depay hit 63-goals in 139-Ligue 1 appearances, cementing his status as one of the premier forwards in France.
With the chance to add his name into the history books, one will wonder if the same story would have been written if Memphis Depay did not face failure to push him forward.