De Jong is better at Barcelona than he was at Ajax, insists Koeman

Martin Macdonald
Martin Macdonald Updated: 17 May 2021 19:46 BST 2 min read
De Jong is better at Barcelona than he was at Ajax, insists Koeman

Barcelona head coach Ronald Koeman has praised the recent performances of Frenkie de Jong and believes his midfielder is playing the best football of his career at present.

The Dutchman has been in brilliant form in January, contributing to six goals in his last seven games via four scored himself plus two assists.

He has scored four times as many goals in the last month as he did in the entire first half of the season in La Liga.

De Jong’s latest came in the Copa del Rey last-16 clash against Rayo Vallecano on Wednesday, as he scored in the 80th minute to emerge as the match winner in a 2-1 win.

There have been suggestions in the past that Barcelona have perhaps not utilised De Jong as they should, like how he was deployed during his star-making tenure with Ajax.

But, Koeman says he is a better player now.

“We need him,” The Barcelona boss said after the Rayo win.

“We need the midfielders to be offensive. He has a lot of technical quality and he helps from deep. We’ve spoken to him about helping out in attack and scoring more than one goal a season.

“He’s a more complete player now than when he played for Ajax. He creates and scores more.”

Barcelona, overall, have had a torrid time this season, particularly in La Liga, as they are currently 10 points off the pace from leaders Atletico Madrid, who also have a game in hand.

Off the pitch, they are in a bad state financially, with FootballTransfers recently reporting how the Blaugrana still owe up to £176m [€200m] in outstanding transfer fees to players they have already acquired.

Due to their finances, De Jong is believed to be one of the players who could be available for a transfer away from the club if a significant offer was to be put on the table.

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