“I keep improving to become a better version of myself” — De Jong on his rise in form

Logo: Barca Universal

Barca Universal

Article image: https://image-service.onefootball.com/crop/face?h=810&image=https%3A%2F%2Fbarcauniversal.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2021%2F06%2FD4421684-11AF-44E1-B6D7-440D5B5E0E22-scaled.jpeg&q=25&w=1080

It has been two years since Frenkie de Jong joined Barcelona from AFC Ajax.

Having arrived in a deal worth an initial €75 million, the 24-year-old did not exactly set the stage on fire in his debut season in 2019/20. While there were glimpses of his irrepressible quality, there was still a sense that the Dutchman wasn’t quite at his best.

However, that changed in the season gone by, as De Jong emerged as one of the best players for the Blaugrana. In 51 appearances for the club, the midfielder produced an impressive tally of seven goals and eight assists.

Whether it was operating as a central midfielder, making line-breaking forward runs or marshaling the defence from the centre of the three-man backline, De Jong excelled under the tutelage of compatriot and his former Netherlands manager Ronald Koeman.

Speaking to Voetbal International, Barcelona midfielder has now opened up on his time with the club and his improvement in form in the past season, saying:

“My first year at Barcelona was good. I got a lot of minutes. But in my opinion, I was just a decent player. This season, I was able to show my abilities more, and I played better games.”

The 24-year-old, though, insists that there’s plenty more to come from him, which is sure to excite the Barcelona fans. “I think I’m able to evolve even further, and I keep improving to become a better version of myself,” he said.

De Jong was quizzed about the various positions he played for Barcelona in 2020/21, to which he responded saying that he did not care where he played as long as he contributed to the team’s success.

“I don’t care where I play, but I prefer to play in the middle of the field. But I can play as a defensive position if necessary too. In the end, it’s all about the confidence of the coach.

“I recently noticed the high confidence of my coaches, colleagues, and the press for me. It feels great. So I’m not against playing in any position. I can play where the team needs me,” the Dutchman said.

De Jong was also quizzed about the prospects of the Netherlands national team in the ongoing UEFA Euro 2020. The Oranje are returning to a major international tournament after a long gap and the Barcelona midfielder is hopeful that they can go all the way in the competition.

“If the atmosphere will be right, we can get back to the good team spirit we had (with the national team). Our aim is to become European champions,” he claimed.

De Jong impressed in the Netherlands’ 3-2 win over Ukraine in their UEFA Euro 2020 Group C opening fixture. The Barcelona ace will next face Austria on Thursday and will be keen on carrying on in the same vein of form.

Stats from Transfermarkt

View publisher imprint