Memphis Depay Talks Possible Lyon Exit, Says Mentality at Club 'Not Good'

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistMay 28, 2019

Lyon's Dutch forward Memphis Depay celebrates after scoring a goal during the French L1 football match between Lyon (OL) and Angers (SCO) on April 19, 2019, at the Groupama Stadium in Decines-Charpieu, near Lyon, central-eastern France. (Photo by ROMAIN LAFABREGUE / AFP)        (Photo credit should read ROMAIN LAFABREGUE/AFP/Getty Images)

Lyon forward Memphis Depay has said he doesn't want to stay at the club "forever" following recent speculation over his future and has criticised the mindset of some of his current team-mates.

Lyon finished in third place in Ligue 1 this season despite some inconsistent spells, securing their place in the UEFA Champions League for next term. Depay, in his second full season with the French outfit, enjoyed another productive campaign, providing an attacking spark in the final third.

Since the end of the season, rumours have surfaced about a possible transfer for the Holland international and speaking to AD (h/t AS), Depay said he has ambitions to play for an elite club.

"I have always been frank about my club Lyon," he noted. "About not seeing the club as my end station. Is there anything strange about that? It would only be strange if, at the age of 25, I would say that I want to play with Lyon forever. Other football players may not dare say anything, but I am always honest about my ambitions."

The Dutchman has established himself as a crucial player for Lyon, showcasing the ability to create and score goals regularly in French football's top flight, per Squawka Football:

Squawka Football @Squawka

Memphis Depay for Lyon in 2018/19: • 47 games • 12 goals • 14 assists He could be set for a summer move. 👀 https://t.co/lvw4xrzOmH

When given space to run into, Depay can be a devastating option:

Football on BT Sport @btsportfootball

Memphis Depay. Pace to burn. 🔥 Lyon get back to winning ways against Angers. https://t.co/EmV0eU8ORS

Depay was also critical of the attitude of some of his team-mates at club level, citing the difference in approach when he was with the national team:

"I set the bar high in everything I do. That is why this season I was annoyed by how people sometimes trained at Lyon. Not because the players are not good, but because the mentality was not good. 

"Exercises are always performed at the highest possible level with the Dutch national team, but with my club this wasn't always the case this season. I couldn't handle that well, but that doesn't mean I'm leaving Lyon, right?"

Depay also said talk of a summer transfer being inevitable is premature and that he will "give everything" to Lyon while he remains with the team. As relayed by the MailOnline, some social media activity from the 25-year-old only fuelled rumours about a departure:

MailOnline Sport @MailSport

'Merci Lyon' Liverpool target Memphis Depay appears to confirm exit https://t.co/eIbxUwRkqa https://t.co/GqooDWG6LI

However, according to Sky Sports News, Liverpool will not be pursuing a deal for he Lyon star.

While the former Manchester United man held little back when talking about his team-mates this season, French football journalist Jeremy Smith thinks Depay has been hypocritical:

Jeremy Smith @jeremysmith98

Memphis Depay has said in an interview of his Lyon team-mates "I place the bar very high in all that I do. That's why I was annoyed by how they trained. The mentality wasn't great". The words pot and kettle spring to mind...

After struggling to make an impression during his time at Old Trafford, some of European football's elite sides may think twice about making a move for Depay. While the talent is unquestionably there, lapses in concentration and inconsistency still blight his game.

Comments like the ones noted would be a concern to coaches too. Although Depay clearly has high standards and demands those are met by his team-mates, publicly calling out other Lyon players is unlikely to cultivate a harmonious atmosphere in the dressing room.