Luuk de Jong has been largely derided during his brief time at Barcelona so far and had been heavily tipped to leave in January following the arrival of Xavi as coach.
The Dutchman was brought to the Camp Nou by compatriot Ronald Koeman who famously said the striker was “more dangerous than Neymar” when there’s a cross coming in.
Yet De Jong has turned things around recently after injuries and a Covid-19 outbreak offered him the chance to start a few games for Barcelona.
The 31-year-old has responded with three goals in three games for Barca and it’s no longer certain that he will leave in January after all.
Indeed Mundo Deportivo are reporting that Xavi would actually prefer De Jong to stay for the rest of the season and “values his work, his attitude and his adaptation to the team.”
The coach did even say after the Super Cup defeat to Real Madrid that De Jong would stay in the team if he keeps performing even though Ansu Fati’s back and Ferran Torres is available.
Interestingly, MD also reckon that Memphis Depay is now a player Barca would much rather offload as he “does not suit the way the team plays with Xavi,” while playing with wingers does suit De Jong.
Xavi was also asked about the forward before the Super Cup at his press conference and made it clear he would have to earn his place in the team, like everyone else.