Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Veteran Striker Expresses His Delight After Joining Barcelona: What Will He Bring To The Nou Camp?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent interview with Barcelona‘s official website, Luuk de Jong expressed his delight after joining the Catalan club on loan from Sevilla last weekend. The Dutch striker, who will now spend the remainder of this season at the Nou Camp, said,

“It’s incredible being a Barça player and it’s amazing to be here.

“I look forward to doing a lot of big things for this team and I can’t wait to get started.”

De Jong’s Bit-Part Role At The Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium

De Jong had a decent season at Seville in the previous campaign after producing a handful of goal-scoring performances for them in Spanish football. The 31-year-old scored nine goals and secured one assist in 48 matches for the Andalusian club last season across all competitions.

Most of the Aigle-born talent’s appearances came off the bench which could be why he only managed to average 0.9 shots, 0.3 key passes and 0.3 dribbles per game in the 2020-21 La Liga campaign. However, he was a bit careless with the ball at times when interchanging possession with his teammates deep inside the opponent’s half after completing 72.8% of his attempted passes in the Spanish top tier (stats via whoscored).

Luuk de Jong expresses his delight after joining Barcelona (De Jong is seen in the picture)
ZEIST – Luuk de Jong during a training session of the Dutch national team, Nationalteam on the KNVB Campus on June 18, 2021 in Zeist, the Netherlands. ANP PIETER STAM DE YOUNG EURO 2020 2020/2021 xVIxANPxSportx/xxANPxIVx *** ZEIST Luuk de Jong during a training session of the Dutch national team on the KNVB Campus on June 18, 2021 in Zeist, the Netherlands ANP PIETER STAM DE YOUNG EURO 2020 2021 xVIxANPxSportx xxANPxIVx 432717367

What Will De Jong Bring To The Nou Camp?

Despite lacking pace in the final third, de Jong can still make full use of his robust 1.88m frame to dominate the opposition in the air and be a towering presence for his teammates to pick out up top. The Dutch centre-forward remains a decent finisher in front of the opposition goal. However, there is no hiding from the fact that father time is catching up with him.

De Jong is a player on the decline but could still prove himself to be a useful presence for Barca as long as Ronald Koeman is planning to use him off the bench. He is nowhere near good enough to rival his Dutch and Barca teammate, Memphis Depay for the right to lead the charge for the Catalans giants in the final third.

However, de Jong has what it takes to serve as a good backup to Depay and could still bring some goals and physicality to Koeman’s frontline. Plus, he will help the Barca boss cope with injuries, suspensions and fixture congestion better in the remainder of this campaign.

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