Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong accepts challenge under Xavi

Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong accepts challenge under Xavi

| sport

The Dutch international is ready to become one of the leaders of the team

Xavi Hernandez's appointment as Barcelona coach has led to a 'reset' for everyone, with everyone "starting from zero," per the manager.

Frenkie de Jong's season, like many other players in the squad, had not started in the best possible way but the atmosphere has changed in the Camp Nou dressing room.

The resignation of the 3-3 draw against Celta Vigo has transformed into the collective joy of the first away win in LaLiga this season at Villarreal at the weekend.

"We lacked personality, it's the players that have to change," De Jong said to Movistar after Barça squandered a three-goal lead in Vigo.

At Villarreal, De Jong returned to goal-scoring ways after seven months without one. The last goal was in the Copa del Rey final against Athletic Club, a strike that was the last of his best goal-scoring season with seven.

SPORT have learned that the club expect De Jong to take the necessary steps forward and become one of the leaders of the team under Xavi. The team need it and Xavi is convinced the Dutchman can give much more.

De Jong has accepted the challenge and in the last three games there have been signs of the improvement that is expected inside the club.

Despite his youthfulness -- still only 24 -- he's already one of the veterans of the Barça midfield, along with Sergio Busquets, of course. It's his third season at the club and his quality makes him one of the spokesmen for the dressing room.

The explosion of Nico and Gavi so soon has surprised everyone, but they've shown they have the level to fight for a place in the starting XI. Injuries have hampered the team but have benefitted the youngsters.

De Jong, in this sense, has seen increased competition, following the arrival of Pedri as well. It's true, though, that Xavi's 3-4-3 makes space for more midfielders.

The former Ajax man knows he has room to improve and the emergence of the youngsters will be beneficial for the players and for the team.