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National team manager provides fitness update on Barcelona forward

Memphis Depay made his long-awaited return to the pitch in the Netherlands’ World Cup opener, appearing as a substitute in the win over Senegal.

It was a big boost for the Orange supporters, banking on the Barcelona forward to lead the attacking unit. His experience, together with his versatility and quality in the final third make him the ideal leader of the group.

However, there were concerns over Depay’s fitness as the Dutchman returned from an injury that saw him miss part of the season with Barcelona.

But in a recent presser, Dutch boss Louis van Gaal gave some clarity on Depay’s future, suggesting the former Lyon star could feature more as the tournament progresses, although there is still room for caution.

“Memphis Depay played 30 minutes, the next step is to play 45. His injury makes it difficult to determine when he can start, so we have to keep track of his recovery process,” he said in a press conference (h/t NOS).

After securing victory over Senegal in the opening game, the Netherlands will be hoping to continue their momentum when they take on Ecuador later tonight. One would expect Depay to feature again as a substitute, although it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him come on earlier than usual.

Depay’s return to the pitch and his performances in the ongoing World Cup could be vital for Barcelona, ​​who are actively looking for the Dutchman in the upcoming January transfer window.

Manchester United are among the clubs looking at the possibility of signing Depay. Whether the striker chooses to complete his return to Old Trafford remains to be seen.

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