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Frenkie de Jong's request could put Antoine Griezmann on the Barcelona bench

FC Barcelona v Juventus: Group G - UEFA Champions League
FC Barcelona v Juventus: Group G - UEFA Champions League
Sripad
SENIOR ANALYST
Modified 08 Apr 2021
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Frenkie de Jong is keen to play in the Barcelona midfield again, with the Dutchman openly admitting he wants to get back to the center of the pitch. According to Marca, the Barcelona star's request could impact Antoine Griezmann's place in the starting XI.

Ronaldo Koeman was forced to use Frenkie de Jong as a centre-back in recent matches as the club had injury issues. The Dutch manager is making the most of his resources right now and was forced to push the former Ajax star into defense.

Marca now reports that Ronald Koeman could drop Antoine Griezmann to accommodate Frenkie de Jong in midfield.

They claim that one of Ousmane Dembele or Griezmann will be dropped as the manager prefers having Pedri and Sergio Busquets in the starting XI.

Frenkie de Jong spoke to the media after Barcelona's 1-0 win against Real Valladolid and said:

"I prefer playing in central midfield, but if it is best for the team that I play at the back or in another position, I'll do it. We changed the system today and I've played in many positions."

Ronald Koeman on Frenkie de Jong at Barcelona

Frenkie de Jong was used out of position by Barcelona last season and Ronald Koeman was not happy about it.

When the club appointed him in the summer, the Dutchman insisted he would play the former Ajax star in his preferred position. He said:

"The plan is to start playing Frenkie de Jong in the position that he plays with the national team as well. I remember attending a Barcelona game and I saw him play a position where I wouldn't play him as a coach."
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"You've spent a lot of money on a young player. You should then play him in his own position, where he can perform in a way you'd expect from him. He's shown at Ajax and with the Dutch national team which position suits him best and that's where he will be playing at Barcelona as well. There's stiff competition for that role, so he will have to be in great shape and form. But it will be in a position that suits him."

Frenkie de Jong is expected to return to the Barcelona midfield once Gerard Pique is back to full fitness.

Published 08 Apr 2021, 17:42 IST
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