Luuk de Jong will start for Barcelona against Alaves

The Dutchman is shining against the odds for Xavi Hernandez

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Ferran Correas

Dutch striker Luuk de Jong will be back in the Barcelona XI against Alaves. Ansu Fati is injured and Ousmane Dembele is being left out so the path is paved for his return. He will be accompanied by Ferran Torres and Ferran Jutgla or Abde most likely, with Martin Braithwaite set to start on the bench.

Luuk has earned his start with good performances of late and some goals, including against Mallorca and Granada in La Liga, plus the strike against Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup.

“Luuk is an amazing professional, they say he could go, that he has only played a few minutes, but the way he trains and works is an example for everyone,” said Xavi.

Luuk de Jong is not planning on leaving if he can help it. 

“We’ve been here with the family for half a year, I don’t want to move again now. Even if I went back to being a substitute. The club has not said anything officially. We’ll see, I’m still Sevilla’s property, with a contract until 2023,” the forward told AD Sportwereld. 

“I think Xavi is a bit surprised with how I fit in his game. I can be a No 9 for him to make triangles and play against the press of the opponent. Xavi wants his forwards to be a link point, who holds the ball up and links with the midfielders. I always draw defenders to leave spaces for others to take advantage.”

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