Sunday, January 29, 2023

Depay completes permanent Atletico Madrid move from Barcelona

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 20 Jan 2023

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Memphis Depay has completed a transfer to Atletico Madrid from Barcelona.

The Netherlands international, who was given permission to train with Atletico on Thursday, has signed a two-and-a-half-year deal at the Civitas Metropolitano.

Atletico are paying an up front free of €3million to Barca for a player who was due to be out of contract in July, potentially rising to €4m.

Depay joined Barcelona on a free transfer from Lyon ahead of the 2021-22 season, linking up again with Ronald Koeman, for whom he had played with the Oranje, but Koeman was fired by the Blaugrana at the end of October 2021.

Xavi was hired a week later and never appeared to have quite the same trust in Depay.

His first 11 LaLiga appearances were all as a starter, but after Xavi’s appointment only nine of his next 17 top-flight outings came from the start.

Depay was hampered by the January 2022 arrivals of Ferran Torres, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Adama Traore.

While the latter two have since departed, the addition of Raphinha in pre-season brought more competition for places.

As such, Depay leaves having made just two LaLiga appearances this season and none since September.

Depay is a necessary addition for Atletico, however.

Joao Felix left on loan to Chelsea, while Matheus Cunha joined Wolves on a temporary deal that has reportedly already met the conditions required to make it a permanent agreement.

Despite winning neither of their past two games, Atletico are fourth in LaLiga, ahead of Villarreal and Real Betis on goal difference.

Depay could make his debut when Atletico host Real Valladolid on Saturday.

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