Why is Frenkie de Jong not himself anymore?


Why is Frenkie de Jong not himself anymore?

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The Dutchman is missing Ronald Koeman in the dressing room despite Xavi's support

Frenkie de Jong is diluting at Barcelona. He hit bottom when he went off after 60 minutes against Rayo Vallecano after another disappointing performance and left the pitch visibly annoyed. De Jong has gone in just a few months from one of the club’s virtues to an option to sell to make some money in the summer. A step he is not digesting well.

In the dressing room the thoughts are that Ronald Koeman’s departure did not suit him. The link between player and coach was long. They had chemistry. Although Xavi has always backed De Jong publicly and privately, he and Koeman had a special connection.

It was the Dutchman who gave De Jong his national team debut in 2018 and was a key player in his plans with the Oranje. 

He was also untouchable at Barcelona under Koeman but Gavi’s eruption and Pedri returning stopped him from being as nailed. In the last 11 La Liga games, he’s only completed the 90 minutes in one - Real Sociedad. He was also a sub in both games against Eintracht Frankfurt.

Pedri’s new injury gives him more opportunity, but he has continued without progressing as expected. His confidence level is low and now Koeman is not there to help.

The friendship extended to their partners too. Frenkie’s girlfriend Mikky Kiemeney shared a lot of house with Bartina Koeman. Nothing is the same since the coach left. De Jong has compatriots in Memphis, Dest and Luuk de Jong. He also gets along with Ter Stegen, and generally, he is liked in the dressing room, but Koeman was a pillar for him.

The option of moving to Manchester United with Erik the Hag on the bench might therefore be tempting, the coach who catapulted him into the elite.

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