Frenkie de Jong has, above and beyond, been Barcelona’s best midfielder throughout the season, arguably amongst the best in Europe too. The Dutchman has been sublime, industrious, and magical all in the same breath. He is the very embodiment of “Total Football”; free of positional bounds.
The Netherlands national team has just released their provisional squad for the Euros, and to no surprise at all, it includes Frenkie de Jong. The Dutch star is sure to be a main piece in de Boer’s side, and will more than likely be crucial in Netherlands’ success in the Euros this year.
The 24-year-old can execute any role in the team with near perfection, using a diverse and unique set of skills paired with his intelligence. His short-passing ability, nearly unparalleled ball-carrying, pace, physicality, and positioning make him one of the most technically-proficient, versatile midfielders in the world.
While a few years ago, there was only one single role which de Jong was at his very best at — a free positional pivot in a double-pivot system —, the former Ajax player has learned to excel and push his standards in almost any role required by his team. Having had his skills honed by familiar mentor Ronald Koeman and getting the right amount of time to adapt into Barça’s dynamics have served de Jong wonderfully in his second campaign at Barça.
In fact, not only does he have utmost prominence in Barça, his national team — Netherlands — almost builds their team and formations around the 24-year-old. Playing in the 4-2-3-1 most often, formerly Ronald Koeman and now Frank de Boer create the best conditions for de Jong to excel in the centre of the park. The Copa del Rey winner is the main creative force for Netherlands, most frequently offering his industrious skillset in a box-to-box role as a positional pivot, alongside Wijnaldum or De Roon. A huge tournament awaits for the talented midfielder.