Primera Division

Van Gaal unsure if Memphis can succeed at Barca

The Dutch coach worked with the player with the Netherlands and Manchester United

2:40pm on Thursday 10th September 2020
Martin Macdonald

Louis van Gaal admits there has always been a question mark surrounding the prowess of Memphis Depay, and has questioned if the player has what it takes to succeed at Barcelona.

In the 2019/20 campaign, the Blaugrana failed to win a trophy for the first time in 12 years, with Real Madrid winning La Liga and Bayern embarrassing them in the Champions League.

It was after the loss against the German champions which led to head coach Quique Setien being sacked, to be replaced a few days later by Ronald Koeman.

Koeman has been tasked with revamping an ageing squad, and his two main transfer targets are believed to be Gini Wijnaldum and Memphis.


Man Utd make progress in Sancho pursuit

Klopp: Liverpool can't behave like we're owned by a country or oligarch

Ozil names his dream team-mate XI...and includes just one Arsenal player

Bale set for Premier League move as Madrid to pay 50% of wages

However, Van Gaal has played down Memphis' talents compared to the likes of one current and one former Clasico star, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Memphis will be a team-mate of Messi's should he sign for Barca, with the Argentine set to stay in Catalunya after previously announcing an intention to leave.

"There's always a question mark," Van Gaal toldTuttoMercatoWeb with regards to Memphis' talent.

"Depay is an interesting player, especially when he's free to play, but we have to consider adapting to a new culture and a new team, and the first year is always the hardest. Look at [Matthijs] De Ligt or Frenkie de Jong.

"Depay has talent, but he's not Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo."

As for Koeman, Van Gaal believes his compatriot has the ability to do a good job, but worries that the Messi saga will hang over his tenure.

"I think he is a good coach, a former Barcelona player and this gives him more credit. It won't be easy because you can never know about the Messi problem," he added.

Barcelona have already sold veteran midfielder Ivan Rakitic this summer, with Luis Suarez and Arturo Vidal two players likely to follow him out the door.

Memphis starred for PSV before earning a big-money move to Man Utd with Van Gaal at the helm. After failing to impress, he signed for Lyon to become their star player and captain.

Latest news

Premier League

Chelsea have no weaknesses, says Joe Cole

The former Blues winger believes Frank Lampard has addressed the defensive issues which presented a problem in the past

  • 1 hour
Predicted XI

Lacazette, Pepe, Elneny in - How Arsenal could line-up against Rapid Vienna

Mikel Arteta's side need only a point to win the group and will likely employ a significant squad rotation policy against Rapid Vienna.

  • 3 hours
Predicted XI

Bale, Vinicius, Dele in - How Tottenham could line-up against LASK

Jose Mourinho's Tottenham side can qualify for the knockout stage of the Europa League with a win on Thursday.

  • 4 hours
Champions League

Five years of Kylian Mbappe: The remarkable young career of the PSG superstar

PSG ace Kylian Mbappe made his professional debut on 2nd December, 2015 for Monaco and has barely stopped scoring since.

  • 5 hours
Champions League

‘Easy’ to pick Kelleher – Klopp hints at promotion for Liverpool hero

The Irish goalkeeper had a Champions League debut to remember as he kept a cleansheet against Ajax in a 1-0 Liverpool victory.

  • 13 hours
Player Rating

Romelu Lukaku: Player Rating and Performance v Borussia Monchengladbach

The Belgian striker was instrumental in the Nerazzurri's hard-fought victory against the German side that kept their European hopes alive

  • 14 hours

Most read