Having signed Fraser Foster, Ivan Perisic, Yves Bissouma and now Richarlison, Tottenham Hotspur have had a busy summer as far as incomings are concerned. Richarlison’s arrival surely means Steven Bergwijn’s exit is drawing closer. The 22-capped Netherlands international has failed to garner regular game-time in North London, having played only 2,460 minutes across two and a half seasons. With Ajax being his most likely destination and Bryan Gil also expected to leave the club (at least on a loan deal), Tottenham may be short of depth in attack despite the addition of Richarlison. One name touted to replace Bergwijn is Barcelona’s Memphis Depay.
Depay played 37 matches for Barcelona last season, including all six in the UEFA Champions League. He did not score or assist even once in the competition. In fact, he took only six shots and failed to hit the target, let alone score. Depay made 3.75 touches in the opposition’s penalty area. He attempted over six dribbles per 90, completing 69.23% of his take-ons. The Dutchman contested more than 15 offensive duels per 90 and was involved in over 11 attacking actions per 90.
Depay failed to provide an assist in the UCL, but he generated 0.3 xA per 90 which put him in the upper 7% of forwards. He was frequently involved in the build-up of Barcelona, having attempted 37 passes per 90, though his pass accuracy of 79.8% ranked him only above average. The Dutchman made 3.75 progressive runs per 90, which put him in the top 9%. He also delivered 2.93 crosses per 90, placing him in the upper quintile. He provided 2.45 shot assists per 90, which explains the high xA per 90 he generated.
Depay is a versatile forward who could play across the front line, though he mostly featured on the left wing for Barcelona, as seen in the above heat map. He registered 2.93 key passes per 90, 1.38 passes into the penalty area per 90, 7.76 progressive carries per 90, 2.93 carries into the final third per 90 and 1.55 carries into the penalty area. He had a rather lazy attitude in defensive work rate as he attempted less than a tackle, an interception and a block per 90 in each category.
Depay received the vast majority of the passes in the final third. Still, he received a whopping 11.4 progressive passes per 90 and made the most touches in the opponents’ penalty box, 30, and the most touches in the attacking third, with 207 to his name, according to FBREF.
Even though Memphis Depay failed to score or assist in the UEFA Champions League for Barcelona, he scored a respectable 12 goals for the team in LaLiga. However, a lack of defensive work rate combined with a lazy attitude might not be what Antonio Conte wants at Tottenham.