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Pedri’s return will shake Frenkie de Jong’s starting spot at Barcelona



Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Barcelona put an end to their three-game winless streak in all competitions when they beat Elche 3-2 at Camp Nou this past Saturday.

And 17-year-old midfield prodigy, Gavi, was the star of the show, catching the eye with a goal, an assist and a near-perfect all-round display in the middle of the park. Apart from him, Nico Gonzalez also made a big impression after coming on from the bench, going on to score the late winner.

With Sergio Busquets also looking good in Xavi Hernandez’s new system, Barça’s midfield looks in good health. However, this could spell trouble for one player, claims Javi Miguel of Diario AS.

Frenkie de Jong has been the weakest performer of the current Barcelona midfield roster in recent weeks. The Dutchman put on an anonymous display against Osasuna and did not fare all too well this past Saturday when Elche visited Camp Nou either.

With Nico and Gavi seemingly nailing down their places under Xavi, Busquets an undisputed starter at the base of the midfield, de Jong’s place could be under major threat once Pedri returns from injury.

The 2021 Golden Boy Award winner has been struggling with injuries all season but is expected to return to action for Barça’s first La Liga clash of 2022 against RCD Mallorca.

Pedri was one of the Blaugrana’s best players last season and shone brightly with the Spanish national team in the summer as well before injuries started to bother him. Expected to mount a full recovery over the next couple of weeks, the teenage sensation, who also won the Kopa Trophy this year, will push for a starting berth.

On current form, de Jong seems the most expendable member of the Barcelona midfield. The 24-year-old has great quality but has struggled to display that on a consistent basis at Camp Nou. Whether this ends up costing him a place in the lineup once Pedri returns remains to be seen.

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