With Liverpool’s recent attacking struggles, Jurgen Klopp should consider signing Memphis Depay on a free transfer this summer.
According to the Mirror, Liverpool could be set for a last-minute swoop for the Dutch forward. Depay has been one of Ligue 1’s best players for several years now, more than justifying a return to a larger club.
While the reliability of the source is spotty at best, a move for Depay would be quite the snag for Liverpool. The 25-year-old has scored 13 goals and 6 assists in just 20 league games this season.
With Liverpool clearly needing reinforcements to return to Europe’s elite, here are the reasons why Liverpool should secure Depay’s services.
Many Liverpool fans have been surprised at recent offensive struggles, but to a degree, this should have been expected.
Injuries have left the Reds with little to no sources of goals outside their front three, especially with the injury to Jota. Goal contributions from other players have gone dry, with no set-piece threat, and the stifling attacking contributions from the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Jordan Henderson, and more.
And to make matters worse, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane are enduring their worst goalscoring seasons in their Liverpool careers. While a healthier squad should remedy many of their problems next season, options at least have to be examined.
Few options exist that are more attractive than Depay. Take away his forgettable spell at Manchester United, he has established himself as a proven goalscorer.
Furthermore, he has the ability to play anywhere in the attack. He began his career as a tricky winger but has recently pivoted to more of a creative #9. He is more than capable of cutting onto his wand of a right foot from the left-wing or driving down the touchline on the right-wing. His ability to play with any combination of Salah, Mane, Firmino, and Jota would be vital.
Direct Style of Play
The other aspect of Depay’s play that should tempt Jurgen Klopp is his direct style of play. As brilliant as they are, the likes of Salah and Firmino depend on quick interplay to create chances for themselves. In low blocks, this often leaves them struggling to find space to carve out scoring chances.
While Mane and Jota drive at defenders, they both also find themselves trying to find space in tight areas at times.
A quick Memphis Depay YouTube search will tell you everything you need to know about Depay’s directness. The Dutchman relishes opportunities to take defenders on one-on-one.
Liverpool have struggled offensively largely due to their fairly rigid attacking style. Depay could offer a refreshing outlet for the side to consider when Plan A isn’t working. With that being said, he’s more than capable of fitting into the more tactical attacking play that Klopp’s side normally employs.
In all honesty, the main reason behind this rumour is probably nothing more than the fact that Depay will be a free agent this summer.
As good as Depay is, the lack of a transfer fee makes the prospect of his signing all the more mouthwatering. While he would likely demand hefty wages, Liverpool would avoid paying a transfer fee in the region of ₤50 million.
The wages could easily be offset by offloading of some of the more forgotten attacking players in the side. Divock Origi will likely move on this summer, while Xherdan Shaqiri and Takumi Minamino could also opt for new opportunities.
Overall, few could deny the expected return on price for this transfer.
Another potential pathway to a potential transfer is Depay’s relationship with fellow countrymen Gini Wijnaldum and Virgil van Dijk.
The connection between the trio is strong, as evidenced by each of their social medias. While Wijnaldum may move on this summer, the potential of staying alongside one of his closest friends could lead to three Dutch players in the squad next year rather than one.
This connection is more than just sentimental, however. Wijnaldum and Depay’s chemistry extends to the field in what could become a fruitful partnership.
Depay’s familiarity with his teammates would surely ease the transition to Liverpool’s high octane system. While it may be difficult to pry Depay away from his Dutch ties in Barcelona, it’s worthy of a shot.
A Slap in the Face to Manchester United
The cherry on the cake with this transfer is the potential to rattle rivals Manchester United.
Depay underwent an unsuccessful spell for the Red Devils after joining from PSV Eindhoven in 2015. He has made his unhappiness from his first period in England well known.
Furthermore, it seems at this point that Depay will opt for the move that best suits him, rather than what the media believes. Entering the prime of his career, Liverpool could be just that.
Only two players have played for both Manchester United and Liverpool in the Premier League era: Paul Ince and Michael Owen. Depay has never been one to succumb to the status quo, so who knows?