Barcelona – Levante: Andrs Iniesta's long shadow falls on De Jong | LaLiga Santander 2019



The Dutch midfielder, a strategic signing of Bara, is lost in the general plain of the team this season.

De Jong, next to Arthur and Messi.

Jong Frenkie An is looking for his place in Bara. Although it is still the fourth most used player of the Barça squad, now only behind Ter Stegen, Piqu and Griezmann, it has only been able to exhibit some other flash of its great quality. Until now, Ernesto Valverde and Quique Setin they have placed it in four different positions: defensive midfielder, left inside, right inside and even right end. It was the current technician, precisely, who made him play in that position for a few minutes in the Cup match against Legans. The young Dutch midfielder, signed in principle to return the splendor to Barcelona's core of yesteryear, in addition, it crosses a bumpy game. Setin, however, relies heavily on his possibilities, although he is also very clear that we must run away from odious comparisons.

It is true that he will never do what Iniesta does, but he will give a good performance because his attitude is always wonderful and he always wants to learn, Setin himself said this week in an interview with the MundoDeportivo newspaper. The current Barca coach is a fervent admirer of the manchego. So much so that even half joking with the possibility of bringing him back to Camp Nou in one of his first interventions in the official media of the club. De Jong, of course, is not l. It has other qualities. And the technician seems to know very well how to exploit them.

Frenkie is a footballer who, fortunately, is terribly receptive. He has always played more as a midfielder and now we ask him to play in the indoor position. He has made an extraordinary match, and that is what we expect, as also of Arthur and Rakitic. They have to think differently in relation to what they were doing, nothing more, said the coach of Bara after 5-0 at Legans in the Cup. In De Jong many expectations have been overturned. It is not only that you move the ball with discretion and always look for the best option for the pass, the great Barça mantra. Also, that overflows and joins the attack, as it did in Ajax. Under Valverde's orders, perhaps, the style was not what he expected. Now, things should be different.


Through 26 games under the orders of the former coach of Bara, accumulate one goal and two assists. In the three that has played with Quique Setin on the bench (he was low by penalty against Granada after being expelled in the derby against Espanyol played in Cornell-El Prat) sum two goal passes. The first, to Griezmann, was the momentary 1-1 against Ibiza in the Copa del Rey, in a match that ended with an aggravated Barca victory by 1-2. The second, Messi, became 3-0 in the duel that the team played in this same competition last Thursday against Legans. The current Barcelona technician gives much importance to the circulation of the ball. And, in those lides, the Dutch should feel like a fish in the water.

Pass statistics don't tell me much. Only as you control the game. Having the ball prevents the opponent from hurting you and scoring goals. If you have the ball for eighty minutes, that prevents the opponent from having it, but I don't like inconsequential possessions. Sometimes you have to play back, because you defend yourself with the ball and that's why it's important to pass. But if you have the ball and fit goals, it is worse, Reflection Setin in the press conference prior to the match against Levante, remembering, how not, one of the most characteristic postulates of his admired Johan Cruyff.

The winter market has left a first team formed solely by 18 players. But that doesn't seem to worry you too much. It is true that we have fewer players, but there is a subsidiary behind. There are prepared kids, who have come to train with us and are sure to help us if necessary, stressed a Setin who insisted on the great role that Ousmane Dembl can play as soon as he is fully recovered from his injury. Of course, he pointed out that he is not in favor of forcing the reappearance of the French, to avoid greater evils. As, in this case, not to hurry the options of an Arturo Vidal that enter the margin of the group, although he trusts that the Chilean will finally be able to enter his list.

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