In his most recent game for the Dutch national side, Frenkie de Jong offered a simple reminder of how good a player he can be to the board of Barcelona.
It’s true that he has flattered to deceive for the blaugrana, and maybe his comments struck a nerve.
De Jong, to his credit, has remained steadfast in not addressing rumours linking him with Manchester United, other than to say he prefers to stay at the Camp Nou.
After his performance against Belgium, where he was head and shoulders above everyone else on the pitch, Joan Laporta would be well within his rights to question whether there are no other players that can be sold to alleviate any perceived financial imbalance.
Frenkie de Jong's game by numbers vs. Belgium:— Squawka (@Squawka) June 3, 2022
100% take-ons completed (2/2)
100% long ball accuracy (3/3)
100% aerial duels won (3/3)
93 touches (most)
92% pass accuracy
82 passes (most)
4 chances created
2 fouls won
1 tackle made
De Jong’s comments about wanting to be the first midfielder to receive the ball would put him in direct competition with Sergio Busquets of course and, frankly, you or I standing on the surface of the moon has more chance of happening than Busi being benched for the most part.
It’s true that our captain has lost a yard of pace and isn’t the player he once was, and so to that end it’s easy to understand Frenkie’s frustrations,
However, Sergio is part of the fabric of the golden age of the club, and Laporta will fight tooth and nail to hang on to every last vestige of that for as long as is possible.
Given that Busi can’t go on for ever, and the Dutchman has shown no penchant for leaving, it’s surely not beyond the realms of possibility that Frenkie hangs in there for another year to 18 months and then gets his preferred role as he’s hitting his supposed peak years.
Or will the club attempt to force through the move given that he hasn’t set the world alight often enough and they can still get a pretty penny for him?
With things hanging in abeyance at this juncture, perhaps his comments will be the straw that breaks the camels back as far as the president is concerned.
Can the club do without him? Yes. Will the money come in handy? Yes.
There’s a school of thought that says it makes commercial sense as well as footballing sense, though you could also argue that it’s a little short-sighted.
And what impression does it give the other big clubs around Europe…