They say that Memphis, Tennessee was the birthplace of rock and roll music, with the blues and soul morphing into something altogether heavier and more powerful. Heck, Elvis Presley’s Graceland home can be found in the city.
Thousands of miles away, Barcelona were once the kings of Spanish football – much like Elvis was the self-styled king of rock and roll. But, lately, the Catalan giants have been singing the blues as they watched first Real Madrid and then Los Blancos’ city rivals Atletico capture the La Liga title – a competition that Barca won four years out of five between 2014-19.
Dream big kid.. Dream big.
Super excited to join my new club! @fcbarcelona
👉🏽🦁👈🏽 𝑮𝒐𝒅’𝒔 𝒑𝒍𝒂𝒏 pic.twitter.com/WnV1ufoBYw
— Memphis Depay (@Memphis) June 19, 2021
To climb back to the top of the tree, Barcelona will need to rediscover the swagger and pomp of their unique brand of rock and roll football – and a slice of Memphis might be just what they need.
Memphis Depay, to be exact. The Dutch forward has signed terms to join the club this summer on a free transfer from Lyon, and he could be just the tonic for an outfit that has lost some of its lustre in recent season. The 27-year-old scored 20 goals and assisted eleven others for the French outfit in 2020/21, and he took that form onto the international stage with the Netherlands when netting twice in their three group games.
Interestingly, the signing of Depay – and a couple of other big names (more on those below) – has seen Barcelona installed as favourites to recapture their La Liga crown in the 2021/22 campaign. Here’s a great article that lists online casino bonuses and one of those, William Hill, has priced Barca at 13/10 for the title.
But to borrow a phrase from the King, Elvis, himself, Barcelona fans will be hoping for a little less conversation and a little more action in the forthcoming season.
Free is the Magic Number
There have long been rumors of the alleged perilous state of Barcelona’s finances, and that’s a situation that has been exacerbated by the fact that they have the largest player wage bill in the world. And, so, they will have to shop a lot smarter this summer, and that is perhaps why their three main captures so far have all been free transfers.
Joining Depay in heading to Catalonia will be Sergio Aguero and Eric Garcia, both picked up from Manchester City without a single cent exchanging hands.
— Sergio Kun Aguero (@aguerosergiokun) May 31, 2021
Aguero needs no introduction and, while he has been hampered by injuries in recent times, there is no doubt that his ability to put the ball in the net remains undiminished. And the capture of the Argentine is no coincidence. He is close friends with Lionel Messi, the Barca legend who is yet to commit his future to the club by signing a new contract. Bringing one of his good buddies into the fold is clearly a smart move on that front.
Less is known about Garcia, who never quite made the breakthrough into the Manchester City first team. But he has been on the fringes of the Spanish national team, and with doubts about Barcelona’s current central defenders – including the ageing Gerard Pique and error-prone Samuel Umtiti – it’s a deal that makes sense.
But the question remains: can this trio help Barcelona to end their frustrating wait for the La Liga title?