With videoThere is currently no place for Frenkie de Jong in the FC Barcelona midfield. Tonight, in the 1-0 win over Real Madrid, the Orange international played as a centre-back for the second time. After the advice, does coach Xavi want to intimidate him?
Frenkie de Jong played in the heart of defense under Ronald Koeman a few times last year but it was a solution born out of necessity, due to numerous backline injuries. However, during the tour across the United States that FC Barcelona has been undertaking for a week, the team is well in its defenders, but De Jong has nevertheless been placed in this defense as a substitute in the two games of exhibition so far.
Tonight, in Las Vegas, he was allowed to return after the break, like last week against Inter Miami (6-0). The side that started against Real Madrid looked a lot like coach Xavi Hernández’s favorite team, with Busquets, Gavi and Pedri in midfield and newcomer Lewandowski up front, accompanied by Ansu Fati and Raphinha; the latter scored the only goal with a beautiful long shot.
Newcomer to midfield
In the second half, when a large part of the starting team was replaced, the midfield was for Nico, Sergi Roberto and Kessié who had come from AC Milan. For De Jong, Xavi once again had a place in the heart of the defence, first on the left and then on the right, where the Dutchman was ambitious and quick and pushed forward a lot, but also sometimes lost a dangerous ball.
But when it comes to filling those positions at the back when the serious games begin, the Catalan coach is spoiled for choice. Veteran Pique has already been told that after fourteen years he is no longer number one; Xavi opts for the younger generation: Chelsea’s Ronald Araujo, Eric García and Andreas Christensen. There doesn’t seem to be much room for De Jong between them.
FC Barcelona will play two more games in the United States, during which time Xavi’s plan will become clearer. ,,The objective is to have two players per position” was the little he wanted to say after the victory against Real Madrid. In this regard, there is still room for Memphis Depay, who came on twice after the break for the left-winger position. Sergiño Dest also featured in both matches in his trusted right-back position.
Xavi’s remarkable attitude towards Frenkie de Jong, whom he himself has always considered one of the best midfielders, follows the weeks Board pressure to bring Dutchman to Manchester United. The clubs have already agreed on a transfer, but De Jong refuses to leave. He has five weeks left, when the transfer window closes at the end of August, to find out more about Xavi’s real plans for him.
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