Speaking to NOS (h/t Mundo Deportivo), former Netherlands striker and football legend Marco van Basten has claimed that Memphis Depay has not been good enough for the Oranje at the FIFA World Cup 2022 and needs to up his game.
Van Basten’s comments came after the Netherlands secured qualification to the knockout stages of the World Cup. Louis van Gaal’s men secured a 2-0 win over hosts Qatar to book a place in the Round of 16 of the tournament.
Depay started the game against the Asian nation – his first start of the tournament and had a decent game overall, with manager van Gaal being effusive in his praise for the Barcelona forward.
However, van Basten was not the least bit impressed by what the 28-year-old Barça striker has done so far at the World Cup, as he said:
“Memphis doesn’t impress, what he shows is not enough. Memphis has to do better. Of course, he has come back from injury and is working hard to do his best, but he is still not doing well.”
As van Basten happens to mention, Depay has only recently returned from a lengthy injury layoff. The Dutch ace had not played a single game from late September for Barcelona after he returned with an injury during the previous international break.
Having only returned to action in the first group game against Senegal, it is natural for Depay to be rusty. But the forward, who is likely to leave Barcelona in January, continues to enjoy the faith of van Gaal.
Meanwhile, van Basten saw some improvements in the game of Depay’s Barcelona and Netherlands teammate Frenkie de Jong, who scored against Qatar.
“Frenkie now dares to attack a bit more. We need his creativity up front and he had some good moves, although it didn’t quite work. He looks a bit better when he plays more up front, but overall it’s still not a big improvement,” he said.