'Heavy': Joe Cole claims 28-year-old who wants Chelsea move has bulked up so much, he's put on loads of muscle

Joe Cole says Barcelona and Netherlands forward Memphis Depay has bulked up amid links to Chelsea.

Depay, who’s been out of action with a thigh injury since September, returned to action yesterday on the World Cup stage.

The 28-year-old striker started and lasted just over an hour for a Dutch side that now know they’ll face the United States in the last 16 of the World Cup.

Chelsea reportedly tried and failed with a late offer to sign Depay in the summer. However, the Blues are now linked with the former Manchester United player again.

AS claims that Depay could end up leaving Barcelona in January and would want a move to Stamford Bridge.

Photo by ANP via Getty Images

Memphis Depay has bulked up

Pundit and former Chelsea player Cole noticed on Tuesday that Depay has put on some extra muscle, explaining it’ll be because of the gym work during his recovery from injury.

“He’s bulked up. It often happens when you have a long-term injury and you get into the gym. He looks quite heavy. It’ll be interesting to see how he’s moving when he plays and it’s crucial to the Dutch that he does get up to speed, because he gives them that spark,” Cole told ITV 1 (3:40pm, 29 November).

Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Understandably, Depay didn’t look at his very sharpest yesterday in a 2-0 Netherlands win against Qatar.

However, the attacker’s now got some game time in his legs going into the knockout stages.

He’s been a real talisman for the Dutch over the years, scoring 42 goals in 83 senior international caps.

It’s been 23-year-old Cody Gakpo that has taken centre stage in the group phase to lead Netherlands forward in the World Cup tournament, though.

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Dom is a Chelsea supporter who has worked in online publishing for more than six years. Graduated from Staffordshire University in 2016, he now writes exclusively for The Chelsea Chronicle covering news, analysis and match coverage. He enjoys the dream position of writing about his boyhood club, which seems to be involved in more drama every single day than an episode of The Bill. Aside from his love for Chelsea, he supports and follows the England cricket team. He also fancies himself as the Sunday League version of Michael Essien.