Saturday, January 28, 2023

Barcelona Midfield Star Could Be On Manchester United’s Radar Again: Should Xavi Sanction His Exit?

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Ankit Seth
Ankit is a 24-year-old, aspiring to have his voice heard through what he writes. Charismatic and frankly moral, adhering to his principles and beliefs. Out to search for a purpose in life and yet to settle on that matter.

According to Mirror, Frenkie de Jong Of Barcelona could reportedly be on Manchester United’s radar again as they look to strengthen their midfield by bringing him to Old Trafford. The Netherlands ace could have moved to Old Trafford last summer but a £56.2 million deal fell through after De Jong insisted on staying at Camp Nou.

De Jong’s Campaign With Barcelona This Season

De Jong had a slow start at the Nou Camp this season although he was one of the most consistent performers for Barcelona before last summer’s transfer saga. The Arkel-born sensation has scored two goals and earned one assist over 17 appearances for the Catalan club this campaign across multiple competitions.

The Dutch talent has still managed to perform consistently at the centre of the park after averaging 1.5 tackles, 1.2 interceptions, 1.0 shots, 1.4 key passes and 1.2 dribbles per game in La Liga football. He has even been exceptional when distributing the ball from the midfield, as evidenced by his pass completion rate of 90.5% in the Spanish first division (stats via whoscored).


Should Xavi Sanction His Exit To Old Trafford?

De Jong has a solid presence in the middle of the park as he can make some crucial tackles to win the ball back for his side and has got the vision to orchestrate a few decent chances for his teammates in the attacking third. The Dutch sensation has a high level of composure with the ball at his feet and he remains adept at getting out of tight spaces showing exceptional ball control.

The 25-year-old has been public about his intentions to stay at the Catalan club and has proven his worth after arriving from Ajax in 2019. Despite the Netherlands international’s clear intentions of staying, Barca had agreed on selling him last summer. This has only left the midfielder diffident about his employers and to add to that he has only managed to play in half of the matches his club has taken part in.

It is understood that Sergio Busquets is set to go out of contract at the end of this season and De Jong is a natural fit to succeed him in that position, so selling him will put the Spanish giants in a difficult situation as they will have to find decent replacements by next summer. So Xavi would be wise to keep hold of him and offer him more minutes on the field. The Spanish boss should try to make him an integral part of Barca’s midfield department and bring in more reinforcements around him to bolster their attack rather than sanctioning his exit which would be a blunder on their account.

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