Tuesday, November 21, 2023 at 8:55 AM• Wessel Antes

Rafael van der Vaart suspects that Memphis Depay has too much muscle mass, the analyst said on Monday evening Rondo on Ziggo Sports. The former midfielder still sees the 29-year-old striker from Atlético Madrid as an important player for the Dutch team, but thinks he knows why Depay is injured so often.

Depay is mentioned after Marco van Basten is not too hopeful about the Dutch national team. “I don’t think it’s that strong. You need a few attackers who play for big clubs, real top scorers.” 88-time international Depay, who has missed two international matches in a row due to an injury, has 44 goals in the Dutch team. He needs six more goals to equal Robin van Persie, the all-time top scorer.

Van der Vaart believes that Depay is a top striker, although he does make a clear comment about the physical condition of the right foot. “Nowadays you have to have a body like that…” Van der Vaart does not seem to agree with the contemporary trend.

“He had to lose five to eight kilos,” Van der Vaart advises the star player of the Dutch team. “He’s not fat, but his muscle mass… He’s so strong, but he’s still injured a lot. Then something goes wrong.” According to various sources, Depay currently weighs around 78 kilos.

Group training
Monday evening, during the broadcast of Rondo Atlético announced that Depay is training with the group again. After three days off, coach Diego Simeone’s selection came back together in Madrid. Depay was the standout present, as he took part in the group training for the first time. The attacker has not played for Atlético since September 24, which ended that match with a 3-1 win over arch-rival Real Madrid.

Depay is recovering from a muscle injury and went to the gym on Monday after group training. It is not yet known whether the 88-time international can play against Feyenoord next week. The striker born in Moordrecht could make his first playing minutes in months, near his birthplace. Simeone’s team will play a home match against Mallorca on Saturday evening.

This season, Depay only played 139 minutes for Atlético, spread over 4 appearances. He did manage to find the net twice in that limited number of appearances. The patience of the Madrid club management seems to be running out, as Depay has already had to miss 22 official matches since his arrival in January this year. Depay is fixed in the Spanish capital until mid-2025.