Why Memphis Depay would be a great signing for Liverpool FC
If reports are to be believed, it seems Liverpool FC sent scouts to watch Memphis Depay's Olympique Lyon side take on Marseille in their recent Ligue 1 fixture at the Orange Velodrome, with manager Jurgen Klopp keen to add more competition for attacking trio Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, and Mo Salah in time for next season's Premier League campaign. Lyon emerged as 3-0 victors in this contest, with goals coming from Cornet (2) and Dembele, with Depay a menace to the Marseille defense throughout the encounter.
Pessimistic Reds will be quick to remember Memphis Depay's failed stint along the M62 at rivals Manchester United. However, it's fair to say that the talented Dutchman has undergone quite the resurgence since arriving in France for £16 million two and a half seasons ago.
The writer's inclination is that the versatile attacking player, who has chalked-up 34 goals and 30 assists in 88 Ligue 1 appearances for Les Gones since his arrival in the historic French city, is a much improved version of what the Red Devils' fanbase witnessed at Old Trafford. .
Here is why he would be an excellent piece of business for Klopp's Champions League finalists:
What's not to like here? Memphis has talent in abundance: the dutch wing-maestro is big, fast, powerful, has great balance, can turn both ways quickly, has bags of technical tricks to aid him when beating defenders, and even has a pretty mean free-kick from long-distance.
He is predominantly right-footed but is adept at using his left-leg to cross and pass, as evidenced by his 15 assists in all competitions last season - more than Salah (13) and Mane (5). Depay also shows great composure in front of goal (12 in all competitions) and only scored four less than Liverpool's own Roberto Firmino last season (16) despite spending considerably more time pushed out wide. The Anfield club could certainly do a lot worse than the former PSV Eindhoven academy prospect, that's for sure.
Memphis Depay is equally adept at playing out on the left in a 4-3-3, or as a lone striker in a similar formation. He is much less effective on the right-flank but has been known to fill-in there on occassion, as well as making a few appearances as a deeper support-striker. His versatility is exactly what Klopp will be looking for as he seeks to add more firepower to his squad without disruspting the flow of his front-three, who have arguably become Europe's most feared attacking trio.
The flying-Dutchman's ability to play across the front-line also means he wouldn't be holding up the progress of young striker, Rhian Brewster (19 years old), who is much admired by Klopp, and of Divrick Origi (24 years old), who has become something of a cult hero at the Kop since scoring valuable goals against Newcastle United and Barclelona, respectively.
Depay would see plenty of action over a long league and cup season, and his ability to adapt to different positions and still be effective with goals and assists could prove to be the difference when the points are tallied up in May 2020.
Raheem Sterling Syndrome
In an interview that took place immediately after Manchester City's 6-0 FA Cup humbing of Watford, Raheem Sterling told BT Sport TV that it was the constant competition for places that had enabled him to kick-on so much over the course of the year's football.
City already had the likes of Bernardo Silva, Sane and - of course - Sterling himself at the club, so when they added Mahrez to the mix during last season's summer transfer window, the English PFA Player of the Year knew he had to take his game on to the next level, and he did so with aplomb, registering 25 goals and 18 assists in all competitions - his best season ever.
Of course, Mane and Salah finished as the EPL's top-scorers (along with Arsenal's Aubameyang), so both would be hard-pressed to improve on that tally, but the arrival of Depay could do for them what Mahrez did for Sterling, forcing them to once again raise their respective games and kick-on, leading Liverpool to glory in the process.
The possible banter
Now, there is no point denying the fact that Liverpool and Manchester United supporters are prone to a bit of lively debate (to put it mildly), with both sets of fans desperate to get one over on their bitter rivals at any cost and in any context.
Imagine the agony the long-suffering United fans would feel should Memphis Depay, ostracized and cast-off from Old Trafford, be the man to score the winning goal, or lay on a classy assist, in the derby next season - imagine it! I think that would be worth the reported £45 million outlay alone for most of the Reds' fans.
Do you think Memphis is the man to help push Liverpool to Premier League glory? Or is there a better alternative on the market? Have your say in the comments section below: