Barcelona boss Xavi makes early Frenkie de Jong decision after appointment

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Barcelona boss Xavi believes Frenkie de Jong has a big role to play in midfield despite the presence of Sergio Busquets, according to reports. De Jong has not had it easy at Barca since joining from Ajax in the summer of 2019. The Dutchman’s time at Blaugrana has coincided with the most uncertain spell at the club in recent history.

De Jong joined Barca for an initial fee of around £64million (€75m).

He has already made 106 appearances for the Nou Camp side.

However, the 24-year-old has not always played in his preferred central midfield role.

De Jong has, at times, played in defence as well as out wide on a few occasions.

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But Spanish outlet Sport hope the presence of a legendary former Barca midfielder in Xavi can help De Jong reach the potential he has shown in glimpses.

A feeling in Spain is that while Busquets is still at the club, De Jong will not be able to show his true ability.

Busquets only turned 33 in July and still has 18 months remaining on his contract.

But Xavi already believes he can get both De Jong and Busquets complimenting each other in the same midfield.

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The former Spain star hopes the duo can be key to his revolution at Barca.

Xavi made his feelings clear about De Jong in November 2020, claiming he has the potential to become one of the best players in his generation.

“When Barcelona signed Frenkie de Jong, it made me happy. I wished him good luck on Instagram, he responded very well, saying ‘Thank you, it’s an honour’. I consider him a footballer that can mark an era at Barcelona,” Xavi told the 2022 World Cup’s Instagram account last year.

“Surely for Netherlands he will be one of the best players of his generation at Qatar 2022, without a doubt, he’s still so young.

“I think he is an extraordinary footballer, he’s not afraid of getting the ball in areas that make it difficult to turn, he’s such a good player.

“Obviously, Barcelona requires players to be at an excellent level, otherwise there’s always criticism.”

Xavi also didn’t want to compare De Jong to himself, Busquets or former Barca team-mate Andres Iniesta.

He added: “Frenkie de Jong is Frenkie de Jong. He has nothing to do with Iniesta, with me or with Busquets, he’s totally different.

“He’s a very capable player and he will be the organiser of this generation of Dutch players. He’s capable of organising a team from the midfield and I have no doubts, it’s up to him.

“The Netherlands had the bad luck that they didn’t qualify for the last World Cup but now they have a generation of players who are really good and can achieve great things, without a doubt.”

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