Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong produces masterclass against Elche
Netherlands midfielder Frenkie de Jong produced a midfield masterclass in Barcelona’s 3-0 La Liga win against Elche.
Having started the midweek 2-0 Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich on the bench, the 25-year-old produced a classy response having been recalled to the starting line-up by Xavi for last night’s clash at the Nou Camp.
Manchester United practically spent the entire summer transfer window trying to reunite Erik ten Hag with his former Ajax midfielder.
Ten Hag and the Red Devils had no choice but to turn their attentions elsewhere and after the Adrien Rabiot deal fell through, the twenty-time league champions signed the Brazilian enforcer Casemiro from Real Madrid.
Frenkie de Jong produces masterclass
There is no denying that things are looking rosier in midfield for Manchester United right now, Christian Eriksen oozes class and looks to be purring with every passing game.
Scott McTominay is becoming undroppable and has risen to the challenge following the arrival of the five-time Champions League winner from Los Blancos.
But there is always going to be room for such a classy and elegant ball-playing midfielder in the ilk of De Jong.
It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Ten Hag ask the Manchester United hierarchy to go all out to sign Barcelona’s number 21 next summer.
And if we qualify for the Champions League, the 44-time Netherlands international maybe more willing to reunite with his former Ajax boss, especially if Barcelona remain intent in getting him off the wage bill.
De Jong would certainly bring additional competition for places if he made the switch to the Theatre of Dreams, and he showed the qualities he possesses in midfield with a dominant display last night.
No player from Barcelona or Elche had more touches than De Jong (124) in last night’s league game, according to WhoScored.
He completed 95 of his attempted 105 passes (90%) and won all six of his ground duels, as well as winning two aerial duels.
De Jong also made five tackles and five interceptions, which put him at the top of the charts in each category.
It was a Rolls-Royce of a performance from the midfield maestro.
As well as reaching the Champions League semi-finals with Ten Hag during their time together in Amsterdam, they also won the league and cup double.
Barcelona may have won their last five La Liga games, but the Manchester United rebuild is very much building momentum and Ten Hag may still see his former midfield starlet as the fulcrum to it.
Judging by De Jong’s performance last night, we can see why.