Memphis Depay Atletico Madrid 2022-23Getty

Memphis ‘wasn’t comfortable’ at Barcelona & ‘asked to leave’ once Atletico Madrid came calling

  • Dutch forward short on minutes in 2022-23
  • Was due to hit free agency in the summer
  • Taking on a new challenge in Spanish capital

WHAT HAPPENED? The Dutch forward has traded life at one La Liga heavyweight for that at another, with the transfer taking him to the Spanish capital seeing Yannick Carrasco head in the opposite direction for Catalunya. Memphis was due to become a free agent in the summer, with a fresh start always on the cards for 2023, but the Netherlands international ensured that he got his switch in January by requesting that Barca allowed him to walk away from a frustrating situation.

WHAT THEY SAID: Blaugrana boss Xavi has told reporters when asked about the 28-year-old frontman leaving his ranks: “Memphis asked to leave after he received Atletico's proposal. He asked me to leave, he wasn't comfortable, he wanted to be comfortable again. We all came out of the situation as winners. If we can strengthen ourselves, that would be great. If not, it's not urgent. We'll see if we can sign someone, but we must remember Financial Fair Play rules.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Memphis had found himself slipping down the pecking order at Barcelona on the back of a 2021 arrival from Lyon, with just two La Liga starts – and 116 minutes of top-flight action in total – taken in before he headed for the exits at Camp Nou.

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Memphis Depay Atletico Madrid 2022-23Getty

Memphis Depay Barcelona 2022-23Getty

xavi hernandezGetty Images

WHAT NEXT? Atletico handed Memphis an immediate debut off the bench in their 3-0 win over Real Valladolid, with the Dutchman helping to fill the attacking void in Diego Simeone’s plans created by Joao Felix’s loan move to Chelsea.