‘Barcelona sceptics suspect Memphis of time-wasting ahead of World Cup’

Barcelona sceptics suspect Memphis of time-wasting ahead of World Cup

shutterstock 2133453531Memphis Depay’s situation is starting to cause ‘more than furrowed brows’ at FC Barcelona. So reports Spanish newspaper AS on Thursday. With an eye on the World Cup, the striker is said to be deliberately taking longer over his rehabilitation.

Memphis has not played a single minute since 22 September, when he was injured with the Dutch national team. His comeback seemed a matter of time a week and a half ago, but he also missed the matches against Athletic Bilbao, Bayern Munich, Valencia CF and Viktoria Plzen.

Memphis’ alleged ‘time-wasting’ is causing suspicion at Barcelona, claims AS. Recovery from the hamstring injury was initially scheduled for four to five weeks, but now the 28-year-old striker is already in his sixth week of rehabilitation. Barça will play only two more matches before the World Cup starts on 20 November.

Sceptics within the club see a clear strategy by Memphis to start the World Cup as fit and sharp as possible. A hasty comeback or relapse could, at worst, put a line under his place in national coach Louis van Gaal’s squad. That explains his “caution”.

According to AS, Barcelona have already resigned themselves to Memphis also missing the two remaining La Liga matches against Almería and Osasuna. The downside for the Oranje vet is that he will then start the World Cup without match rhythm. The Dutch will play the first World Cup cruncher against Senegal in 18 days’ time.