As if he had never been away Memphis Depay reported back to the Dutch team on Monday after nine months. With a hat-trick in his pocket in the first league match of his club Olympique Lyonnais against Dijon (4-1) Depay seems to be back to his old self after his heavy crossbelt injury.
“I have the feeling that I am fit and I also have my confidence in the duels back”, says Depay before the training in Zeist. “My ability is there again. I hope it can only get better.”
On December 15, 2019 it went wrong for the attacker of Olympique Lyonnais in the duel with Stade Rennes. He was feared for his participation in the European Championships, although he had no doubts. Depay worked hard on his recovery in Italy and Dubai.
In the end the postponed European Championship gave him all the time he needed to recover and he rejoined Lyon on June 8th. Without having missed a single interstate.
“I’m glad I’m back,” Depay said. “I hadn’t seen anyone for a long time and the mood was good right away.”
Since his return Depay played five games, including the semi-final Champions League against Bayern Munich and thus the spectacular season opener in the Ligue 1.
“If you score three times in the first game, you can’t complain. Even though I didn’t think the match was big on my own. In the end it’s all about being important and decisive, but I expect more from myself.”
It was Ronald Koeman who made Depay important to the Dutch, but since a few weeks Koeman is no longer a national coach. “That’s unfortunate, but understandable. Anyone with ambitions gets it. This was the coach’s dream”, Depay said.
“I don’t see it as abandonment either. He left something here. We have to pick it up and get on with it. We’ll see who the next coach will be. As a group we have to take responsibility“, Depay is convinced.
The attacker did not want to go into the names of possible successors yet. “That we as a players group have something to say is clear. But the management will make the decision in the end.”
With Depay’s contract expiring at Olympique Lyonnais in a year’s time, the name of the attacker is regularly mentioned in the transfer rumors. Depay himself says he is not busy with a transfer.
“I never said I want to leave. When I say something, it’s often twisted. I have another one-year contract, I’m captain, and we have a good team. We’ve shown that. I’m good in my skin, but I also have my dreams. That’s what I’ve always said.”