The Netherlands has always been one of the strongest teams to have embraced the world of football. The land which had produced maestros like Johan Cruyff and Jaap Stam has failed to meet up the expectations of the earlier teams that represented The Oranje.
It’s hard to believe that a country that lifted the Euros in 1988 hasn’t won a single game in the competition since 2008. But current manager Frank De Boer believes that going into the Euros this time out, Netherlands could replicate their past performances.
— Frenkie de Jong (@DeJongFrenkie21) November 16, 2019
And one player whom he’ll bank on this summer is Frenkie De Jong. De Jong was bought by Spanish giants, FC Barcelona from Ajax for a whopping price of 75 million Euros. His first year at Barcelona might not have been perfect in many ways but his second term at the club has proved the man’s importance.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) July 4, 2019
DE JONG AND BARCELONA- A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN
Since Ronald Koeman took charge of the club, De Jong’s evolution at the club has been magnificent. His performance in the Copa Del Rey final against Bilbao made all the fans across the world appreciate his masterclass. He racked up a goal and 2 assists in the all-important final and helped the Catalans pick up a trophy after a long time. In the domestic league, De Jong has been head and shoulders above the remaining midfielders. The Dutch international has been crucial to Barca’s comeback this season.
— Frenkie de Jong (@DeJongFrenkie21) April 17, 2021
No one had ever doubted his defensive abilities but he has grown into the role of a player who could get behind defenders and score goals when his team needs him the most. He’s strong while defending and rarely misplaces a pass while constantly making diagonal runs into the opponent’s goals.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) October 22, 2019
The Dutchman hasn’t missed a single game for his club in La Liga, starting in 34 out of the 36 games played. He has been on the field for a total of 3085 minutes which is the most by any player, proving his worth for his club. His versatility to play in different positions makes him a player to watch out for heading into the Euros.
WHAT MAKES DE JONG OVERSHADOW OTHER MIDFIELDERS?
De Jong would look to replicate his club heroics with his National team as well. With the withdrawal of talismanic defender Virgil Van Dijk, Frenkie’s role as a leader would increase in the team. He is the only midfielder whose name on the team sheet is more or less confirmed because of an outstanding 2020/21 season with his club. De Jong is never shy of running those extra yards and tries to give the perfect performance for his team day in and day out.
De Jong could salvage possession in the middle of the park and could create inch-perfect passes at will. Not only that he could make sure that La Oranje doesn’t miss the presence of Van Dijk while defending.
He has just made 25 appearances for his country but has shown reflections of a midfield maestro like Iniesta or Cryuff. De Jong has just netted once in national colours but the new role he was given under club manager Koeman has enabled him to find the back of the net more and more.
2⃣5⃣ Caps 🦁
— OnsOranje (@OnsOranje) March 30, 2021
Frank Do Boer would expect the same from the man who turns 24 today. His linkup with Liverpool defensive midfielder, Wijnaldum and Lyon striker, Memphis Depay will be crucial if the Netherlands has to win silverware once again. His quick feet in the middle of the park, his strength, and smartness while defending and his dynamic nature up the field makes him a vicious player.
SILVERWARE AFTER AGES?
It’s still difficult to figure out who will partner with the Barcelona player, will it be Manchester United benchwarmer Donny Van De Beek, Atalanta’s Marten de Roon, or Ajax’s Davy Klaassen. Whomever it is he’ll have to match the pace of De Jong and if the Netherlands are allowed to dominate the central circle teams might face difficulties containing them.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) May 12, 2021
The Netherlands will bank on De Jong to create enthralling balls for their strikers to capitalize on and also brushing aside any kind of goal-scoring threats the opposition could produce. Frenkie De Jong and Netherlands won’t face too many challenges going past the group stage but after that, they would want the Barcelona midfielder to be at his utmost best.
If De Jong duplicates his past performances, La Oranje might brush aside any thorn that comes in their way. Like mentioned, he’ll have to bring his A-game to the Euros if they want to lift the trophy at Wembley on 12th July.