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Koeman ‘does not regret’ criticising Barcelona over Frenkie de Jong injury mismanagement



Photo by ODD ANDERSEN/AFP via Getty Images

It has not been a good week for Barcelona and Hansi Flick as the club saw two players ruled out of the European Championship through injuries – Frenkie de Jong and Robert Lewandowski.

The Dutch national team confirmed earlier this week that De Jong had not recovered from the injury he sustained against Athletic Club on March 3rd.

His participation against PSG just over a month later gave Ronald Koeman and Co. hope, but the Dutch manager soon blamed the club for worsening his injury by rushing his return.

Koeman stands firm

Earlier today, the former Barcelona manager was asked if he regretted his outburst in which he openly blamed the club for De Jong’s unavailability. Koeman, however, would have none of it.

“My words about Barça mismanaging Frenkie? I don’t regret it. Absolutely not. But I’m done with it too. I’m not going into it any further, because I talked to Frenkie about it well. That’s between us,” he said, standing firm on his statement via Mundo Deportivo.

De Jong out of the Euros. (Photo by KOEN VAN WEEL/ANP/AFP via Getty Images)

The coach was then asked if he would have rushed the player back from injury to play a do-or-die match if he was the club manager, to which he said,

“I have always been able to estimate the risk factor fairly well. It is, and that’s all I want to say about it now, also to the player. I also talked to Frenkie about that. I think I have a little more inside information.”

When will De Jong return?

It is clear that the Barcelona midfielder was not at his 100% when he took on PSG across two legs in the UEFA Champions League.

After 157 weary minutes across two weeks, a clash with Fede Valverde in El Clasico saw him out once more with a setback.

The player’s abstinence from the Euros, in a way, comes as a big win for the Catalans given that he can now completely focus on his recovery and the season that lies ahead.

Hansi Flick and Co. will hope that he is ready in time for pre-season in July.

For starters, however, it is still unclear if the player will be a Blaugrana next season especially with Barcelona being open to a sale if he does not renew. From a transfer standpoint, his quick return to fitness takes even more precedence.

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