World Cup 2022

Memphis Depay ruled out for Netherlands’ clash with Senegal

Louis Van Gaal’s side will be without a key man for their opening game

Barcelona and Netherlands forward Memphis Depay has been ruled out for his side’s opening game against African champions Senegal, having struggled with a hamstring injury for the past months.

Depay has managed just 116 minutes in La Liga so far this season, but said that he would be fit for the tournament, which began yesterday with Ecuador’s win over host nation Qatar.

The Netherlands take to the field on Monday against Senegal, with the two teams widely expected to be the pair that qualify from group A, and both will be missing key men.

The African champions saw talisman Sadio Mane ruled out of the tournament after picking up an injury with Bayern Munich, and Louis Van Gaal was quick to point out this comparison when quizzed on his opponents.

“It will be a blow for us just like Sadio Mane missing for Senegal is a blow for them”, he began.

“I am a fan of Mane. He can break open a match and I would say Senegal will really miss him.

“But the same applies to us. We are missing our top scorer and king of the assists [in Depay].”

Options beyond Depay

The loss of Depay, who has notched 42 goals and 30 assists in his 81 appearances for Le Oranje, will be severe, but there are strong alternatives to lead the line for Van Gaal’s side.

In the most recent outing, a 1-0 win over Belgium, former Tottenham forwards Steven Bergwijn and Vincent Janssen led the line, while Cody Gakpo is in fine form for PSV Eindhoven and could be handed a World Cup debut against Senegal.

Alternatively, Luuk de Jong, Wout Weghorst and Noa Lang are also all among the forwards in the squad that could be thrust into the action on Monday.

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Ben Browning

Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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