The four games that made Frenkie de Jong

Karan Tejwani
Karan Tejwani 12 May 2022 17:51 CEST 4 min read
Frenkie de Jong plays for Ajax

Frenkie de Jong has long been considered one of the brightest stars of Dutch football, but his time at Barcelona has not gone down as well as he would’ve hoped.

However, the talent is still there and as the 25-year-old enters the peak years of his career, he could have a bright future awaiting him.

He was excellent and Ajax and is seen as the long-term midfielder for the Dutch national team.

Recently, De Jong has been linked with a move to Manchester United, and a move could reunite him with former Ajax head coach Erik ten Hag.

As a move is being considered, here are five matches that shaped De Jong’s career.

France 2-1 Netherlands

This match is largely forgotten due to the fact that it was in the Nations League and De Jong ended up on the losing side with the Netherlands.

However, it’s still important as the Dutch were competitive against the reigning world champions, and De Jong was impressive in midfield in a game that first put eyes on the emerging youngster.

Coming up against the likes of N’Golo Kante and Paul Pogba in midfield, the then 20-year-old looked composed in one of his first international outings.

Netherlands 2-0 France

The reverse fixture to that opening Nations League game, De Jong ended up on the winning side here, and this came in a period where De Jong was really starting to show his qualities for Ajax as well.

By now, Dutch head coach Ronald Koeman had made it clear De Jong was central to his plans for the national team, and De Jong responded with a top performance against France.

De Jong controlled the tempo of the game, kept France at bay and contributed to ending Les Bleus’ 15-game unbeaten streak as he announced himself on the international scene.

Real Madrid 1-4 Ajax

Arguably the most famous match of Ten Hag’s Ajax era, this was a coming-of-age game for so many Ajax players, and De Jong is up there.

Coming up against the reigning European champions, De Jong was excellent against a side containing the likes of Luka Modric, and the iconic image of him sitting down the Ballon d’Or winner was one for the ages.

Following the match, Dusan Tadic got most of the plaudits, but De Jong’s role was just as important in the Ajax midfield.

Juventus 1-2 Ajax

Another brilliant Champions League night for Ajax, and a win that put them in the semi-finals of the competition for the first time since 1996.

De Jong was injured before the clash, and there were doubts over his availability, but he turned up, and was arguably the best player on the pitch.

Ajax went a goal behind early on, but pulled through, and De Jong showed maturity beyond his years to take his side to the last four.