When Memphis Depay left Manchester United, their seemed question marks over the Dutchman’s attitude and whether he could fulfil the potential he showed whilst at PSV Eindhoven. Since then, he has gone on to be pivotal for Lyon which has led to him impressing Europe’s elite clubs so much that he has earned a move to Barcelona.
Depay has showcased why he was wanted by one of the world’s biggest club with his performances in the group stage of the Euro’s and has impressed alongside the likes Gini Wijnaldum, Donyell Malen, Frenkie De Jong and Daley Blind. The Dutch topped their group with three wins scoring eight goals and conceding two.
Depay played a key role for the Dutch in their progress with two goals and one assist in the Netherlands group matches.
Although, he did not score in the first game, Depay was still useful in Netherland’s 3-2 win over Ukraine. He managed to provide chances and demonstrate creativity by playing the most key passes, the most crosses and the highest number of accurate crosses of any Dutch player. Depay also demonstrated how good he is at moving with the ball with four successful dribbles in the game.
Depay scored his first goal of the competition in Netherland’s second group game, when he coolly dispatched a penalty to help the Netherland’s to a 2-0 win over Austria.
In their final group game against North Macedonia, Depay scored after linking up well with Donyell Malen. Netherlands launched a counterattack with Malen driving into the North Macedonian half before he relinquished the ball to Depay. The two carried on advancing with Depay giving the ball back to Malen, who then cut it back for Depay to finish clinically. In the same game, Depay turned provider when he collected the ball on the left side of the 18-yard box and squared it for Wijnaldum to finish. He was also involved in the third goal of the game as his shot was saved by Stole Dimitrievski before Wijnaldum passed the ball into the empty net.
Overall, Depay has shown his quality in the group stage. He has shown the confidence to lead the Dutch forward line and has shown a desire to try and be Netherland’s main man with the number of shots he has attempted. Only Ciro Immobile has attempted more shots per game so far in the competition. The forward is also taking responsibility to create and make things happen and, in the group, stage thus far has averaged 2.3 dribbles a game with only Frenkie De Jong averaging more out of all the Dutch players.
If the Netherlands are to go deep into the tournament, then Depay will have to continue his good form and if they do progress far in the EURO’s then it is possible Depay could be in golden boot contention.