Frenkie de Jong: Who is the Ajax youngster linked with Barcelona?
The Ajax man was one of the standout young players in Europe last season thanks to his rare skill set and play style.
Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs
Frenkie de Jong is the latest prospect to come rolling off the Dutch production line and, if his 2017/18 performances are anything to go by, he might just be the best talent the Netherlands have produced in many years.
Straight from the Johan Cruyff school of play, the 21-year-old is versatile and an outstanding player on the ball. It’s no surprise Barcelona look set to secure his services as the Dutch wonderkid is perfect for their philosophy.
What, though, would Barcelona be getting for their money? Oscar Wood takes a closer look at the Ajax youngster.
De Jong is capable of playing as a centre back and a central midfielder. Last season in the Eredivisie he started as a centre back 12 times, four times started in midfield, and came on as a sub in midfield another six times.
When playing in either role, what stands out most of all is de Jong’s ability on the ball. He’s an accomplished passer, capable of threading the ball through the lines or distributing it long.
Not surprisingly, he averaged the most passes per 90 minutes in the Eredivisie last season and had the best pass completion rate at 91.4%.