Frenkie de Jong is already enjoying like the longer term star Barcelona hoped he can be.
The 23-year-old Netherlands midfielder, who joined from Ajax two years in the past, has scored 4 objectives this month whereas additionally enjoying a key half in creating different objectives along with his passing.
De Jong has been at his greatest over the previous week. Last weekend, he scored one purpose and arrange one other in a 2-0 win at Elche to guide the workforce with Lionel Messi suspended. On Wednesday, De Jong made a key go that put Antoine Griezmann in place to help Messi in a 2-1 victory at Rayo Vallecano in the round-of-16 of the Copa del Rey.
Barcelona’s streak of 4 league wins — all on the highway — have stored the workforce from falling fully out of the league title race, which is led by Atlético Madrid. Barcelona, together with Sevilla, can also be among the many favorites to win the Copa del Rey with Atlético and Real Madrid eradicated.
“We are on a good run,” De Jong mentioned after match at Rayo. “We are playing well as a team, growing each week, and we just need to keep it going.”
Barcelona may have its subsequent take a look at at residence on Sunday when it hosts a vastly improved Athletic Bilbao workforce underneath coach Marcelino García Toral.
Two weeks in the past, Bilbao upset Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup closing. The Basque workforce equalized in the ninetieth minute and snatched a 3-2 victory on Iñaki William’s injury-time purpose. The disappointing loss for Barcelona was made worse as Messi earned his first ever pink card for the membership and was suspended for 2 matches for hitting an opponent in the ultimate minutes.
While Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman has toyed along with his lineups this season, De Jong has been a relentless fixture, together with Messi and younger playmaker Pedro “Pedri” González.
De Jong’s means to choose his moments for runs into the world has given Barcelona an added dimension that Koeman has insisted is vital to getting the workforce again to enjoying its greatest. De Jong scored two objectives in 42 video games final season. He already has 5 in 27 this season.
“I am arriving more to the area and that means I am scoring more than before,” De Jong mentioned.
For Koeman, De Jong is a good higher participant than the one which helped Ajax reached the 2019 Champions League semifinals after ousting each Real Madrid and Juventus. Barcelona paid 75 million euros ($85.5 million) to deliver him to Spain that season.
“We need him. We need our midfielders to be attack-minded,” Koeman mentioned. “He is a very technically skilled player. He helps us build the attack from the midfield. We talked with him about helping more in attack, scoring more than just one goal per season. He is a more complete player now than when he played for Ajax.”
Bilbao shall be heading to the Camp Nou on a powerful run after beating each Madrid and Barcelona to win the Spanish Super Cup earlier than routing Getafe 5-1 in the league.
Earlier on Sunday, Atlético will go to Cádiz seeking to lengthen its run of seven straight victories in the league. The workforce is seven factors away from second-place Madrid with a sport in hand. Barcelona is one other three factors again.
Luis Suárez, which cash-strapped Barcelona virtually gave away to Atlético, has scored three objectives in the workforce’s final two victories, each coming from behind. Suárez and Sevilla ahead Youssef En-Nesyri lead the league in scoring with 12 objectives every.
Madrid performs at residence on Saturday in opposition to a mid-table Levante workforce that has solely misplaced twice in the final 14 matches.