NATIONS - Kieft on Memphis at Barca: "He doesn't belong there now"
No one will deny that Memphis Depay is an important player for the current Orange. Still, in the eyes of Wim Kieft, the striker has clear shortcomings. In his column in De Telegraaf, Kieft argued that Memphis should not be among the absolute top strikers for the time being.
Kieft's column was a response to the praise for Memphis after the last international match of the Orange against Gibraltar. In that game, the striker scored twice, with which he is now in joint sixth place on the eternal top scorers list of the Dutch national team. However, according to Kieft, he cannot compete with his 'competitors' on the list, names such as Johan Cruijff, Marco van Basten, Robin van Persie, Patrick Kluivert, Dennis Bergkamp and Ruud van Nistelrooij.
"These players have achieved success at major tournaments at their clubs and with the Orange squad, excelled in big matches and decided national and international top duels," Kieft wrote. 'Many of Depay's goals for the Dutch national team are against small countries. He also did not score for the Orange in the Final Four of the Nations League in 2019 against England and Portugal. For the time being, major and decisive moments are missing from his resume. The greats assert themselves in difficult circumstances and drag their team to a higher level, but Depay is more of an individualist than a team player.'
Of course, Memphis did not deserve a transfer to FC Barcelona this summer for nothing. "Only FC Barcelona is no longer the Barça of yesteryear," Kieft countered. Depay more or less owes his transfer to Catalonia to the presence of Ronald Koeman and because he enjoyed a transfer-free status. Normally they get top strikers at FC Barcelona, who have proven themselves before.'
Kieft stated that Memphis belongs 'in the striker list with sub-toppers' and cannot be compared with players such as Karim Benzema and Robert Lewandowski, although those two top strikers are six years older. 'That also offers Depay the opportunity to grow as a striker. Maybe he can return to the top with FC Barcelona. A World Cup is also on the program in a year. He knows what to do to join the list of Dutch toppers, because he doesn't belong there at the moment.'