Frenkie de Jong will officially become a Barcelona player on 1 July after joining the club from Ajax but will face a fight for his place at the Camp Nou, according to former boss Lous van Gaal.
The 22-year-old is coming off the back of a superb season with the Dutch side after helping them clinch a domestic double and make it to the semi-finals of the Champions League.
De Jong has attracted plenty of plaudits along the way for his performances, but Van Gaal reckons he will have his work cut out when he arrives at Barcelona.
“I think it’s going to be very difficult for him there. Not only because he might get a different role, but he also has to play those other players from the starting line-up. He is also lucky that Barcelona has been eliminated in the semi-final (of the Champons League), Because then their status will be different.
“I think he’s a great player, but I think Rakitic is also a great player. And I wanted to buy Vidal at Manchester United five years ago.
“I think that as a player you should also choose a club where you can always play. The question is whether that is justified in Barcelona. I hope so, because at that age you have to play every game. I think he could have made better choices because I think the whole world is waiting for Frenkie de Jong. I am so positive about him.”
Source | Fox Sports (via Football Oranje)
While Van Gaal may have his doubts after De Jong, his arrival at Barcelona will be eagerly-awaited and should give the club a lift after a disappointing end to the season.
The club do have plenty of options in their star-studded squad but are in need of fresh faces to rejuvenate an ageing midfield.