Frenkie de Jong’s first season at Barcelona didn’t quite go as planned, with the Catalans’ on-field struggles and off-field crises not allowing the Dutchman to settle in the way he would have hoped.
But Ronald Koeman’s appointment, and Alfred Schreuder’s as well, has created the perfect environment for the midfielder.
Both men know him well, with Koeman being his coach at international level and Schreuder formerly Erik ten Hag’s assistant at Ajax.
Koeman has stated on a number of occasions that De Jong’s position is deeper than where he’s been playing so far in Catalonia and that he should be the pivot, i.e. Sergio Busquets’ place in the XI.
De Jong is surely going to be an important player for his compatriot at the Camp Nou.
The midfield will likely be built around him, to an extent, and he’ll have a huge opportunity to step up and take a starring role.
The 23-year-old showed flashes of what he’s capable of over the last 12 months, but his 3,222 minutes across 42 appearances haven’t seen him play with the same level of consistency seen in his Ajax days.
Barcelona haven’t helped De Jong so far, but he has been self-critical and knows what he has to do to improve.
Koeman and Schreuder’s arrival will only help him to rediscover his best form.