Friday, March 31, 2023

Barcelona Midfielder Wants To Stay Beyond This Summer: Should Xavi Keep Hold Of Him?

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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 print edition, Mundo Deportivo mentioned that Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong wants to stay beyond this summer. It is understood that the Dutch talent is happy with his life at the Catalan club despite recent interest from Manchester United.

De Jong’s Good Run Of Form At The Nou Camp Last Season

De Jong had a decent campaign with the Catalan giants as he was a consistent performer at the heart of their midfield. The 25-year-old found the back of the net on four occasions and secured five assists in 45 matches for Barca last season across all competitions.

The Arkel-born talent was a top performer for Xavi’s side at the centre of the park based on his average of 1.1 tackles, 0.6 key passes, 0.5 shots, 1.3 key passes and 1.6 dribbles per game in La Liga. He was even accurate with his ball distribution after completing 91.3% of his attempted passes in the Spanish top-flight (stats via whoscored).

Barcelona (Frenkie De Jong)
FC Barcelona’s Frenkie De Jong looks on during a training session at the Accor Stadium in Sydney on May 24, 2022, ahead of a friendly football match between FC Barcelona and A-League All Stars. (Photo by SAEED KHAN/AFP via Getty Images)
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Should Barcelona Head Coach Xavi Keep Hold Of De Jong?

De Jong is a tough-tacking and energetic midfielder who can make some crucial interceptions for his side at the centre of the park. He can create a few clear-cut chances for others around him in the final third and can make a handful of promising runs with the ball from midfield. De Jong is primarily a box-to-box midfielder but can even anchor the midfield on his own or feature as a left-sided wide player if his manager needs him to do so.

At the moment, de Jong is one of Xavi‘s top performers after he helped Barca secure a second-place finish in La Liga last season. Thus, it makes sense for the Barcelona boss to keep hold of him beyond this summer as he could help the Catalan side challenge for top honours in the coming seasons.

At 25, De Jong’s prime years are ahead of him. Furthermore, his contract at the Nou Camp is set to expire in the summer of 2026, so Xavi has no immediate need to sell him unless he wants to make more space in his wage bill.

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