All eyes this season are on Frenkie de Jong as the Ajax midfielder looks to prove why Barcelona are so interested. 

  • By Michael Bell
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Born near Rotterdam, De Jong turned down the chance to join Feyenoord’s academy at the age of seven and instead opted for Willem II.

In Tilburg, De Jong honed his skills and after only one first-team appearance he was snapped up by Ajax in the summer of 2015. He was loaned back to Willem II but barely featured in the Eredivisie before returning to Amsterdam the following January. He finished the season in the Eerste Divisie with Jong Ajax. The following season, de Jong was named talent of the year in the Eerste Divisie but also made 11 appearances in the first-team including the Europa League final.

Last summer, De Jong was promoted full-time to the first-team but Marcel Keizer struggled to fit the midfielder into his eleven until he decided to place him in the centre of defence. De Jong excelled as a libero, providing eight assists in 22 league games before his season was cut short by injury.

Barcelona have come calling this summer, determined to sign the young talent but Ajax has put their foot down and insisted he is not for sale, despite a reported €50 million offer from the Catalan giants.

Watch our exclusive interview with Frenkie de Jong here:

Style of Play

A mix of Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta, Franz Beckenbauer and Frank Rijkaard, depending on who you listen too, De Jong is a massive talent and could be Netherlands next World Class midfielder.

De Jong excelled last season as a Libero, benefiting from his free role to bring the ball out of defence and launch attacks. However, De Jong is a midfielder and doesn’t want to remain in the defence this season, “I see this as a short-term experiment, and I don’t want to remain in central defence throughout my career. I have always been a midfielder, and I remain a midfielder,”

De Jong is an exceptional dribbler, who can stride past opponents with ease and rarely ever loses the ball. Once he gets into the opponents half, the 21-year-old’s vision and passing ability allow him to cut open defences with a flick of his right-boot. De Jong created chance after chance last season, and his tally of eight assists is great considering his position on the pitch.

The only area that De Jong will be aiming to improve is his finishing in front of goal. If he can add goals to his game then De Jong has it all.

What to expect from De Jong this season

The expectations going into the new season are huge with many waiting to see what De Jong can do in his first full season in the Ajax midfield.

Last season was only the beginning for the 21-year-old, who will not only be a key man for Erik ten Hag but also the Dutch national team. Ronald Koeman couldn’t give De Jong his debut last season due to his injury, but the youngster should come straight into the squad for the upcoming UEFA Nations League.

€50 million bids are already being rejected and his asking price could skyrocket if he impresses in the Eredivisie, Dutch national team and Champions League, should Ajax qualify.

Barcelona have been made to wait and the Johan Cruijff ArenA is the best place to see one of Europe’s biggest talents doing his thing this season. Frenkie de Jong is one of the main reasons you should tune into Ajax this season. You will not be disappointed.

 




Michael Bell (63 Posts)