Just after the match against Belgium, Frenkie de Jong came out to the media to underline that he plays in the Netherlands “very different” from what he has been doing regularly at FC Barcelona, that this change is “very good” for his game, also emphasizing that he prefers to be “the first man to receive the ball from the defenders”.
Some statements that were received with some surprise within the Blaugrana club, as AS has learned. And it is that in the various conversations that the technicians have had with the Blaugrana international they have always insisted that their problem is not the game, which is also partly, but mainly a lack of leadership. In the club it is considered that a player with his extraordinary abilities should have already taken a step forward in the team and become the absolute reference. However, that step has not yet been taken, due to one circumstance or another.
Regarding the position he plays at Barcelona, the coaches value above all his ability to reach the area from the second line and his ease in breaking lines, which is why they consider that the interior demarcation is the one that best fits into the system , although they have also used it in the defensive pivot, in the few absences of Sergio Busquets. The problem for Frenkie is that the technicians consider that the captain is still number one in that positionso if De Jong wants to play, he has to adapt to the coach’s needs.
Right now the situation of the Dutch international in Barcelona is presented as a complete unknown. The player has always publicly expressed his intention to continue at the club, but he also knows that the coaches consider it vital that he assume, once and for all, the role of team leader. Hence, these latest statements by the midfielder are not fully understood inside the locker room, since the ‘real’ problem is not whether he plays in one position or another, but basically mentality
In favor of the player, his constant self-criticism and demands stand out, since he is one of those who most review the videos and study his mistakes after the games, demonstrating his commitment and absolute professionalism.
Nor should we forget that the financial situation of the club does not help either: the Dutchman is one of the most valued players in the squad, and an irrefutable offer, as it is said that Ten Hag’s Manchester United is willing to do, it would be valued very seriously by the top managers of the entity.