Frenkie de Jong is worth the wait: De Boer says he is as good as Kante

Manchester United’s transfer business is currently hamstrung by the club’s complete focus on signing Frenkie de Jong. Which would be fine if they were making progress.

BBC Sport‘s transfer report from seven days ago is just as relevant today as it was then, talks have been opened with Barcelona, and a fee has not yet been agreed.

If there is one consolation to take from the stalemate, it is that Frenkie de Jong is worth the wait.

Words from Dutch legend Ronald de Boer earlier in 2022 highlight De Jong’s quality, and show why the midfielder is a player Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is so set on.

Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images


De Jong is worth the wait

De Boer believes De Jong is a rare talent, who is not being used properly at Barcelona, due to the clash of roles with Sergio Busquets.

He also compared De Jong to Ngolo Kante, as a midfielder who is multi-faceted in his skillset.

De Boer told Marca: “Busquets is an incredible player but he needs a lot of protection. If he has to cover a lot of the field, he is in trouble. This affects the whole team and also De Jong.

“Right now, when I see him move on the pitch, he gives me the impression that he does it very shyly. He doesn’t show the energy that he normally has. He seems a bit lost. He doesn’t look happy.

“The continuous changes of coaches could have affected him. In addition to the fact that Busquets continues to be a starter in De Jong’s best position in the midfield.

“It’s a role he could play very well because he’s capable of defending very well. He’s fast, tall [enough] to win aerial duels, he covers a lot of space.

“Along with [N’Golo] Kante, [De Jong is] one of the best. But Frenkie’s versatility is unique: no midfielder can move as naturally as a No.6 and as a No.8.”

Photo by Fran Macia/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Barcelona paid £65 million to sign Frenkie de Jong in 2019, but their team has not gelled as they would have hoped, and he could benefit from the change in scenery.

De Jong’s role has been a talking point in the Netherlands after his recent international performances, where he has played as the deepest midfielder, a role he says he prefers. AS reported that Barcelona were left ‘surprised’ by De Jong’s comments.

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is reported by Marca to have offered to build his side around De Jong, and Red Devils fans could see the best of him. But if a deal is to go ahead, both clubs have to agree a fee, and this is yet to happen.

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