Barcelona are facing some tough choices this summer. With the Blaugrana set on reshaping their squad, whether they keep all of their assets has been brought into focus.
None more so than with Frenkie de Jong. The Dutch midfielder arrived in €86m in 2019 and in his three years at the club, has failed to put his stamp on the Barcelona midfield.
It’s been an era of turmoil at Barcelona since he arrived but it’s also true that de Jong has only shown his best side in streaks during those years.
That isn’t helped by the fact that de Jong continues to be his impressive self with the Netherlands, as he told NOS following their 4-1 victory over Belgium in the Nations League.
“I play very differently here [with the Dutch national team] to with Barca. I think this suits me a lot better.”
Marca carried the comment and also referenced another assessment from de Jong, which partly explains his frustration.
“I like to be the first player to receive the ball from the defenders and connect with the attack.”
At Barcelona, it tends to be Sergio Busquets who receives the ball first and the position that de Jong plays is always influenced by the Catalan veteran.
Whether Xavi Hernandez can find a system that exploits his talents remains to be seen, but it’s clear that de Jong doesn’t feel entirely comfortable with what is being asked of him.