Wesley Sneijder's prediction for De Jong at Barcelona hasn't really worked out
Yes, he won the Copa del Rey in 2021, but that is the extent of his silverware haul during his three years at the La Liga giants.
It certainly isn’t De Jong’s fault. Just like Manchester United’s failings and chopping and changing of managers over the past six years cannot be pinned on Paul Pogba.
But just like Pogba clearly was not part of the Manchester United solution, De Jong may have to face facts that he is not part of Barcelona’s path to success either.
Wesley Sneijder’s prediction for De Jong
When De Jong signed for Barcelona back in 2019, he was tipped to be a huge success. Former Netherlands international Wesley Sneijder tipped to to succeed Lionel Messi as the team’s leader.
Sneijder, himself a former transfer target for Manchester United a decade ago, spoke to The Mail three years ago.
He said: “De Jong made the best choice because he understood that his football is perfect for Spain and Barcelona.
“De Ligt chose differently but Frenkie made the perfect decision for his life. De Ligt a different choice but in my opinion De Jong is forward-looking.
“He did very well to choose Barcelona: it is a club suitable for him, when Messi will stop with football Frenkie will become even more leader.”
Wesley Sneijder’s prediction hasn’t really worked out. Instead of being the leader of Barcelona, or even the leader of Barcelona’s midfield, De Jong is getting squeezed out.
He has been unable to dislodge Sergio Busquets as the deepest lying midfielder, forcing an adjustment in his playing style, and the emergence of both Gavi and Pedri has added to the competition. Barcelona have also agreed to sign midfielder Franck Kessie, a sign they are not content with their current options.
De Jong has a choice to make. Does he stick around at Barcelona and try and persist, to try and accomplish what he has not so far been able to do?
Or does he make the switch to an entirely new team, with a manager who knows him, who is ready to build the midfield around him.
The Dutchman’s competitive spirit may prompt him to want to continue in Spain, but the smarter decision may simply be to walk away, and accept it isn’t working – just like the choice Paul Pogba and Manchester United eventually came to.