Even though we all know the talent Frenkie de Jong possesses, it still feels like the young midfielder is breaking out of his shell. Of course, there is a clear difference in quality and difficulty between Ajax in Eredivisie and Barcelona in LaLiga so this should be taken into account.
However, if someone knows De Jong then it’s his former coach Joe Bogers who managed him back when he was at Willem II. He says that one of the midfielder’s best qualities is to play the same no matter where he is or the level of his opposition.
At Barcelona, however, he’s playing with ‘shyness‘:
“It surprises me that De Jong is probably feeling the pressure to be at a team with Barcelona’s potential. It surprises me, really. I’ve seen that he plays with a certain shyness,” told Bogers in an interview with Ser.
This is somewhat of a surprise seeing how the youngster is inherently not a shy player at all. Maybe the pressure has had an effective on him because we’re still not seeing the best of him.
“He has never been a shy player because one of his virtues is that he always plays the same,” his former coach added.
But even it that were true, De Jong is still among Ronald Koeman’s most used squad members and has been improving week in, week out.
And if the best is yet to come, it can only be good news for the Catalans.
Ronald Araujo returns to Barcelona first-team training ahead of Sevilla clash
This Saturday afternoon, Barcelona will travel to Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan to face Sevilla for the control of the third place in the table. The Andalusians have already proved they are an incredibly tricky opponent so this clash is bound to be a big one once more.
But there is some good news for Ronald Koeman ahead of the Saturday challenge. Barcelona have officially confirmed that Ronald Araujo is once again training with the team. Of course, the centre-back has been out of action for quite some time now and the Catalans have missed him dearly.
He may be still young and developing but the Uruguayan is a true rock in their defence. Having him available should definitely help in the remainder of the season, especially since Gerard Pique is also back.
However, we still don’t know whether Koeman will risk his defensive talisman right from the start this Saturday, even if he is given the green light. Sometimes, throwing players into the fire immediately, especially for such a huge game, can be counterproductive.
Araujo is surely eager to play but Koeman needs to think long-term when making this tricky decision. Despite the opposition and the importance of the match, maybe it wouldn’t be that bad to start him on the bench.
After all, he can always be substituted in if the team requires some extra solidity in the latter parts of the clash. Hopefully, however, it doesn’t come to that.
Either way, this is a must-win game and the team better be ready to face the challenge.