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Barcelona for Life? Reborn Frenkie de Jong Finally Looks Like a €75 Million Midfielder

Barcelona, FCB, Football, Football News, Frenkie De Jong

In a world of ever-evolving football narratives, few stories rival the transformation of Frenkie De Jong’s career at Barcelona. After four tumultuous years, marked by uncertainty, tactical shifts, and transfer rumors, the Dutch midfielder has emerged as one of the world’s most effective center-midfielders. In this in-depth analysis, we explore De Jong’s remarkable journey from a rocky start to his current status as an indispensable asset for Barcelona.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

The Rocky Start

When Frenkie De Jong arrived at Camp Nou in 2019, he was greeted with high expectations but faced a club in turmoil. Despite his impressive performances with Ajax in the Champions League, doubts lingered about his ability to adapt to Barcelona’s style of play. The Blaugrana had been undergoing a series of questionable signings, leaving fans and pundits skeptical.

The Man United Saga

De Jong’s early days at Barcelona were far from smooth sailing, and the summer of 2022 brought even more uncertainty. New manager Xavi Hernandez, in an attempt to reshape the squad, seemed intent on offloading De Jong, going as far as to deploy him out of position during preseason matches. Manchester United loomed as a potential destination, but De Jong’s determination to stay at Barcelona surprised many.

The Turnaround Under Xavi

Xavi’s appointment as Barcelona’s head coach marked a turning point in De Jong’s career. Instead of trying to fit him into a predefined role, Xavi recognized De Jong’s unique skill set and created a new position tailored to his strengths. De Jong was tasked with dominating the midfield, progressing the ball efficiently, and providing a physical presence.

Photo Credit: FCBarcelona

The ‘De Jong’ Role

In this new role, De Jong thrived. He became the lynchpin of Barcelona’s midfield, dictating play from deeper positions, much like a box-to-box midfielder. Xavi’s tactical adjustments allowed De Jong to showcase his passing prowess and ball retention skills. His ability to consistently progress the ball and carry it forward made him an essential component of Barcelona’s success.

Statistical Brilliance

De Jong’s statistics in the 2022-2023 season tell the story of his transformation. His pass completion, ball recovery, and interception numbers improved significantly. Most notably, he delivered his most progressive passes in a season since his Ajax days, doing so with remarkable efficiency. His progressive carrying numbers also saw an uptick, emphasizing his ability to drive the team forward. Combining ball retention with passing excellence, De Jong has become a rare commodity in world football.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Xavi’s Vision Realized

Xavi’s belief in De Jong’s potential as a world-class talent has finally come to fruition. By crafting a system that maximizes De Jong’s abilities, Xavi has unlocked the midfielder’s true potential. De Jong has evolved from an interesting player with a unique skill set to an irreplaceable component of Barcelona’s midfield.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

A Culer for Life?

Throughout the ups and downs, one thing remains clear: Frenkie De Jong’s heart belongs to Barcelona. Despite the summer transfer saga, De Jong declared his unwavering commitment to the club. While contract negotiations loom on the horizon, there is an undeniable sincerity to his desire to stay. De Jong’s connection with Barcelona, rooted in the club’s rich history and football philosophy, runs deep.

Reference

https://www.goal.com/en-in/lists/barcelona-for-life-frenkie-de-jong-finally-looks-like-75-million-midfielder/blt12b6b65a4e27aaf6#cs7ed0359de0997b59

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