Frenkie De Jong concluded the international break with a win over Gibraltar on March 31st, 2021. The twenty-three-year-old Barcelona midfielder commanded the midfield as the Netherlands won by seven-nil in the World Cup Qualifiers.
Frenkie De Jong proved instrumental during the game as he supported the forward line with his pinpoint passing. Though his presence had been vital for the win, he could not score or assist in the game.
His performance should not come as a shock to the fans as Frenkie has been doing this at the club level with Barcelona. Thus his performance during the international break would be of the most outstanding quality.
After the game, Frenkie De Jong tweeted his reactions to the win and what it means for the Oranges in their quest for World Cup qualification. He tweeted, “It is a great feeling to conclude my international duty with a win.”
Good to finish the international break with a win🦁🦁 pic.twitter.com/zm6TVDMOat
— Frenkie de Jong (@DeJongFrenkie21) March 31, 2021
Though Frenkie did his part, he owes credit to the flying Dutchman’s coach Frank De Boer. De Boer and De Jong know each other from their time together at Ajax, where Frenkie played before moving to Barcelona.
Speaking of Barcelona, the Dutchman had a tough time in the start and only recently found his footing. The Blaugrana has welcomed him to the squad and has been patient in their approach towards the twenty-three-year-old midfielder.
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Frenkie’s positional change attributed to his new form at Camp Nou?
Barcelona announced the signing of De Jong from Ajax on January 23rd, 2019. When this happened, the Culers were excited about having a Dutch midfielder at the club after Frank and Ronald De Boer (1999).
The midfielder had displayed skills similar to Barcelona legends Johan Cruyff, Edgar Davids, and De Boer at Ajax. This is what prompted the Catalan club to pay 77.4 million euros for him. The payment made for the Dutch youngster broke the record transfer of 40 million euros that they paid for Marc Overmars.
Thus he took his place in the Barcelona midfield and they expected a lot from the youngster.
Eventually, due to the pressure, De Jong recorded just two goals and two assists in twenty-nine appearances in his debut season (2019-20). Ronald Koeman, who observed his fellow countryman’s struggles, offered him the chance of playing in the position of the ‘pure’ defenders. These defenders were traditionally center backs.
Koeman had therefore taken a gamble with De Jong. However, Frenkie De Jong overcame his obstacles and made the center back spot his own. Though he took to the role, he would not hesitate to run forward and assist the forward lines from time to time. The newfound position and growing confidence allowed him to record three goals and four assists in twenty-eight games this season.
This season’s record was better than the one he had accumulated at Ajax before his departure (3 goals and 3 assists in 31 apps). Along with the improvement in his record, his value in the team also received a boost.
Frenkie De Jong value boosted at Barcelona
De Jong is a great player, and he has exhibited that in his adaptability to change roles from midfield to defense with ease. Koeman is pleased with the Dutchman’s importance in the Blaugrana side. Along with added respect, De Jong received a boost in financial value (58.5m euros to 72 million euros). Thus making himself more valuable as a player to other clubs.
Therefore, Barcelona should look to keep their Dutch maestro away from the eyes of clubs worldwide and use his power to make a name for themselves in future competitions.
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