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Depay unveiled at Atleti: “They’ve welcomed me with open arms”

Memphis Depay was unveiled by Atlético Madrid on Friday, following his move from LaLiga leaders, Barcelona.

Newly signed Atletico Madrid's Dutch forward Memphis Depay (L) poses for pictures with Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo holding his jersey during his official presentation at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid on January 20, 2023. - Atletico Madrid have signed Netherlands forward Memphis Depay from La Liga rivals Barcelona for three million euros ($3.25 million), the two clubs announced. The 28-year-old has signed a two-and-a-half year deal with Atletico after an injury-hit spell at the Camp Nou. (Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO / AFP)

Memphis Depay vowed to repay his new employers Atlético Madrid for the faith they have shown in him by bringing him to the capital from Barcelona. Depay had fallen down the pecking order at Camp Nou so jumped at the chance of joining the Rojiblancos. He penned a two-and-a-half year deal with Atleti on Friday.

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Atlético will pay €3million up front to Barça although the fee could rise to €4m if Depay meets a series of performance-related targets. The Dutch forward’s contract with Barcelona was due to expire at the end of June.

“Everything has gone great,” the player said during his presentation. “I have had a good conversation with the coach [Diego Simeone] and I am eager to show what I can do. It’s a very big club, with an impressive history. I’ve a heard a lot of good stories from them. They wanted me to be here. [That] has been very important in my decision to come.”

El Cholo and settling in

When asked about his meeting with Simeone, Depay replied: “The most important thing is that he wants me to feel at home. That makes me excited. He is known [for] his passion for the club and now he wants me to be as ready as soon as possible. He liked me when I was at Lyon.”

Depay also touched on conversations with Antoine Griezmann, who previously played with him at Barcelona before returning to Atleti. “He told me many good things,” he added. “The people are nice, but to be honest that wasn’t really a surprise. They have welcomed me with open arms and now I just want to get started and play with the team as soon as possible.”