All the noise surrounding Neymar’s possible homecoming and Antoine Griezmann’s supposed arrival this transfer market has stolen the spotlight away from arguably one of the greatest signings in Barcelona’s history. His name goes by Frenkie de Jong. The young Dutchman has officially put pen to paper, transferring for a total of 75 million euros, plus a further 11 million in variables and Blaugrana fans should be buzzing more than ever about this new addition to the team. The 22-year old is exactly what the Catalans need to get back on their feet, precisely the footballer that can prepare them to reconquer Europe after their last two dismal campaigns and absolutely the guy who can restore that attacking instinct into Barca’s play and tactics.
It’s De Jong time...
The former Ajax man has a long list of strengths and qualities that any player would kill to have but what is most striking is his positional diversity, his body language and his reading of the game. Just this past season alone, De Jong has played in five different positions: central back, right central back, defensive midfielder, left defensive midfielder and right defensive midfielder. Let me put it this way: he can play almost anywhere on the field and do a superb job at it. This versatility will serve as a big boost when it comes to adapting to the team and mastering his role within the squad. Then, comes his body language which is a whole different tale for itself. For not having much experience under his belt and only being 22 years old, the Dutchman holds the ball exquisitely. He knows where the ball will be played before it happens, his head is always up before he receives the ball and he is constantly analyzing the game, as if he was an investor analysing which stock to purchase next. Is it just me or do these qualities remind you of a certain Xavi/Iniesta?
This summer has been nothing but chaos for the Catalans with rumors flying in and out of the offices and in recent days it has just been intensified after president Josep Maria Bartomeu took on the vice presidency role following Jordi Mestre’s resignation. It’s safe to say, the club have certainly had better days, but despite their constant struggle to structure, manage and develop both the first team and their famous La Masia academy, they should be proud of one thing and that’s the signing of Frenkie de Jong.
So forget Neymar, forget Griezmann, the only spotlight should be on the Dutch boy, the player that has Johan Cruyff smiling from above.