Memphis Depay has been stripped of his squad number at Barcelona amidst uncertainty surrounding his future at the club, especially after the arrival of Robert Lewandowski.
Depay joined Barcelona last summer and needed Gerard Pique to forego compensation so that he could be registered as Lionel Messi’s successor up front.
Remember that the Holland international told his teammates at the end of last month that he would not be leaving Barcelona, regardless of how many attackers were brought to Camp Nou.
The Dutch star had a terrific debut season as he distinguished himself as the standout recruit for the Spanish club last summer. With 13 goals in his first season, he finished as FC Barcelona’s joint-leading scorer.
The Dutchman made a respectable start to life at the Nou Camp, scoring in two of his first three games. However, with the additions of Ferran Torres and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who is currently being linked to a move to Chelsea, he lost some of his importance to Xavi’s team.
With the signings of Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha, as well as the extension of Ousmane Dembele’s contract, he has now dropped even farther down the pecking order.
Lewandowski, a former forward for Lyon, was introduced to the crowd today wearing the number nine on his back after previously donning the number 12 in the most recent preseason tour.
The Poland striker was eventually permitted to depart Bayern Munich after declaring his time there was “finished,” with Barcelona initially paying €45 million for his services.
On Friday, some 45,000 people showed up to see the new signing, who most likely isn’t yet officially registered to play.
The opinions of his number were somewhat unexpected, and club president Joan Laporta didn’t precisely declare that Depay was pleased with them, simply that he ‘understood’ them.
“It was a decision by the club,” Laporta said of Lewandowski’s number nine shirt.
“For reasons that interest the club, for image, for publicity. We thought it was the right decision. It was done concerning Memphis, who understood it perfectly. Full respect to Memphis.”
Depay did score an outstanding goal against Inter Miami early in Barca’s preseason, but Xavi has informed him that he is no longer needed.
Erik ten Hag, who is still looking to expand his options up front, has been linked to a return to Manchester United, one of his old sides.
Given how long it takes to relocate from the Nou Camp to Old Trafford, the 28-year-old might need to wait until January if that move is to take place.
Even though the saga has dragged on for months, United is still desperately trying to sign Frenkie de Jong this summer, but it now appears that Chelsea will prevail.
Why was Memphis Depay Stripped of the number 9?
Due to the number’s association with goals, Depay’s squad number was taken away because the Dutch forward did not fill the description.
A indicator that the former would be replaced in the starting XI by the latter is the removal of a player’s jersey number for a new signing. It is thought that Depay and Robert Lewandowski fall under this category.
In a historic transfer, the Polish striker moved from Bayern Munich to Barcelona this summer. The 33-year-old superstar was anticipated to insist on wearing the No. 9 jersey at his new club since he previously wore it while playing for Bayern Munich and Poland.
The arrival of the new number 9 for Barcelona on Friday may be the end of the Holland international’s time in Xavi Hernandez’s starting lineup. He played a significant role for them last year.
In a season when Barcelona was recovering from losing Lionel Messi to Paris Saint-Germain, Depay started for them frequently. But it appears that the club has outgrown him already.
Who is now Barcelona’s new Number 9?
On Friday, August 5, Robert Lewandowski, the new No. 9 for FC Barcelona, was the center of attention. The Polish striker wore his brand-new jersey at his well-attended unveiling at Camp Nou; the garment has always been associated with scoring.
The new striker for Barça is no stranger to scoring goals; while wearing the number 9 jersey for Bayern Munich the last two seasons, he won the European Golden Shoe. Lewandowski wore the infamous jersey number that carries with it the expectation of goals during eight of his seasons with Bayern, three with Borussia Dortmund, and one with Znicz Pruszkow in 2007–08.
The Pole adds his name to the list of elite players who have worn number 9 in Spain, with Lewandowski replacing Memphis in the position. Famous names like Luis Sánchez, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Samuel Eto’o, Patrick Kluivert, and Cristiano Ronaldo are just a few of the finest players that have come before him in recent years.
Johan Cruyff, the greatest legend of them all, was another well-known blaugrana number 9 further back in Barça history. The Dutchman followed in the footsteps of great strikers like César Rodriguez, Josep Escolà, and Josep Samitier. It is now Robert Lewandowski’s turn to assume the reins.