Barcelona News: Former Blaugrana boss explains why Frenkie de Jong would find it difficult at Barcelona
What's the story?
In case you didn't know...
Barcelona splashed €75 million to secure the services of De Jong from Ajax in the winter transfer window, with the Dutch sensation set to join his new team-mates at the Camp Nou in the summer. The 22-year-old midfielder enjoyed a sensational campaign with Ajax and was the centre of attraction across Europe due to his spectacular performances.
De Jong bagged four goals and as many assists in all competitions in the 2018-19 campaign, but his impact at the centre of the park can never be measured with just mere statistics. The Dutch midfielder was absolutely pivotal for Ajax as they dominated some of the biggest teams in the Champions League.
De Jong is already being hailed as the next big thing across Europe. His ability to dictate play on the pitch by creating spaces and picking out his team-mates with vision sets him apart from the rest. De Jong helped Ajax to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League and secure the domestic double this season.
The heart of the matter
Despite De Jong's calibre, former Blaugrana manager Van Gaal believes the midfielder will find it difficult at Barcelona and that he should have chosen another club.
"I think it will be difficult for him there. Not only because he'll have a different role there, but because he'll be competing with others to make the starting eleven.
"He's lucky that Barcelona were knocked out in the semi-finals [of the Champions League] because the status of the club is different and there will be different players. In my opinion, he could have chosen better.
"De Jong is a very good player, but so is Ivan Rakitic, and five years ago when I was at Manchester United, I wanted to sign Arturo Vidal. As a player you always have to choose a club where you can play.
"The question is, does he have this assured at Barcelona, we'll have to wait and see, I hope so because at that age you have to play every game."
It remains to be seen how quickly De Jong can settle into his new life at the Camp Nou.