De Jong, liquid in San Paolo

first_imgDe Jong will start this Sunday at the Bernabéu. Then, the best version of the Dutch will be expected again because everyone is aware that there is a pearl there. But he has to let go and express himself much more in the field. De Jong’s paradox is that everyone thought he was coming to give Barça a new march. But what he has had to do is take off a gear. De Jong touched the ball 51 times in San Paolo. Very far from the 134 of Busquets, named Man of the Match of the match, 69 of Rakitic or even 74 of Arturo Vidal. There was no sign of that vibrant player that broke lines with its conductions and that filled the Ajax game with freshness until it became the most fun team in the last Champions League. Instead of giving vitality to the team, De Jong has had to adapt to the pasty pace of veteran Barça, in which also Setién has radicalized the desire for possession. De Jong gave 43 good passes in Naples. Busquets made 110, almost triple. Indicate where the Barça game moved. Piqué and Umtiti gave 114 and 113 passes respectively. That means that the defensive triangle of Barça gave 337 touches, which added to the 77 of Semedo and the 49 of Junior would add 459 of the 724 that Barça gave, more than 63% of Barça’s passes. Frenkie De Jong went unnoticed by a soccer temple like San Paolo. Bad news and involution for a player who a year earlier, in the knockout stages of the Champions League, presented himself to the world against Real Madrid and in the quarterfinals dominated the tie against Juventus. Elected best UEFA European midfielder this summer, it is difficult to understand the secondary role in which De Jong is corseted, a player who looked happy and loose, seems to play with chains right now. In many games nothing weighs in the game. More concerned with not disturbing than otherwise, he limits himself to strictly fulfilling his tactical role.last_img

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