De Jong returns to the League with almost everything lost after a key month of absence

If nothing goes wrong at the last minute, Frenkie de Jong will return today to a call of the Barça. He will do it for tomorrow’s game against Osasuna, corresponding to the penultimate round of the League. With almost everything lost in the championship, since the Madrid He has seen him for sentence, the Dutchman has to return to the ring. He has not played since June 13, when he participated 84 minutes in the Mallorca game, the first for Barcelona after the restart of the competition. One month after De Jong, except miracle, he will step on the grass in order to get a little rhythm with a view to the Champions, although for the continental commitment against Naples there will still be enough, since it is set for August 8.

An annoying injury to the soleus of his right leg has made him miss eight games in which the team gave up the lead and squandered a good part of his options.

His competition was presumed capital in this final stretch because his youth (23 years), energy and quality made him even more important before the cataract of matches in a few days. Within a squad with many players with their best years after the Dutchman’s strength had passed, it would serve to give Barça more lungs. But the soleus left him at home. After playing in Mallorca, he trained normally but the problem did not disappear. On the contrary. And that angered the midfielder.

“We have been living in Barcelona for a year. Hopefully it will be many more years, ”De Jong wrote on social networks last Sunday, along with a photograph in which he appeared with his partner. Because the Dutchman’s was a signing applauded unanimously by critics and fans. A strategic reinforcement for 75 million plus 11 in variables.

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He came from a brilliant Ajax and came to take the helm of the center of the Barcelona field, the engine room, wherever the style is marked. In practice, his season has not been bad, but neither is he outstanding within the decreasing dynamics of the team, the necessary adaptation toll and the tactical gibberish to which the footballer has been subjected. Between Valverde and Setién they have made De Jong a bit of a mess.

Determining loss

The midfielder could only play in Mallorca after the return of the competition

The Dutchman has played in the League 27 games, 24 of them starting and 15 complete. He is the ninth Barcelona player in minutes in the championship, despite having lost most of this last stretch. In addition, after Sergio Busquets, he is the second footballer of the Catalan team in completed passes.

But everyone saw him as the Barcelona midfielder, the man who had to distribute football with his spyglass from a determining position and most of the time has not acted there. It has worked more often as inside, or left or right, than as a pivot. In addition, as an interior with different nuances. Sometimes the coaches have asked him to keep the position more and at other times they have ordered him to play higher, stepping on the area. On the other hand, Sergio Busquets, specialist of that task and with less versatility than the Dutchman, continues as a midfielder.

It is true that in some actions De Jong has been seen a weak point and lacking in decision (he has only scored 2 goals). But also that the instructions it has received have been contradictory. “We are asking for different things,” acknowledged Setién at the time. “He is not playing in the position he plays with us in the national team,” said Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman.

De Jong’s stride, technique and vision of the game are very wide. It is from the hand of footballers of this type that Barcelona has to truly rebuild itself. Players with more present and future than past. He has a contract until 2024 and neither he thinks of moving nor Barcelona considers his departure at all. He is one of the few with whom there is no speculation when putting together possible casualty or barter lists.

If he is ready for tomorrow, he will have this match and Sunday’s match in Vitoria to recover sensations after months practically stopped between confinement and injury.

A spinning top

He lacked some decision in his first year at Barça and suffered tactical gibberish

It should be remembered that both Busquets and Arturo Vidal will be suspended against Naples. With them out of action and with Arthur who has counted for almost nothing since he was invited to sign by Juventus, De Jong’s presence against the Italians is even more relevant. He could have returned earlier, on Saturday in Valladolid, but Setién assured that they had preferred to give him a few more filming days. He has been training with the group for a week now. Barça have missed De Jong a lot.


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