Frenkie de Jong playing in wrong position, says Ajax boss

Date published: Tuesday 11th February 2020 10:58 - Matthew Briggs

Frenkie de Jong TEAMtalk

Frenkie de Jong is playing in the wrong position, according to Ajax boss Erik ten Hag.

The Holland international joined the Barcelona ast summer from Ajax in a €75million deal and he has gone on to make 32 appearances this season.

De Jong, who was a deep-lying playmaker for Ajax, has been used in a more advanced midfield role by new Barcelona boss Quique Setien and the 22-year-old got on the scoresheet at the weekend in the 3-2 win over Real Betis.

Ten Hag though has been critical of Setien and thinks De Jong is far more valuable playing as a creator rather than a finisher.

“He is not a scorer,” Ten Hag told Dutch media outlet Ziggo Sport, as cited by Diario AS.

“He is the player who is in charge of supplying, of supplying the teammates who give the assists or who score goals from their position.

“I would have liked to continue counting on both of them (De Jong and Matthijs de Ligt, now at Juventus) for one or two more years, because It would have been better for Ajax and for Dutch football.

“With them you can go further in the Champions League because they are very high quality players.”

 

 

Meanwhile, Tim Sherwood has claimed that Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp rejected the chance to sign De Jong by bringing in Fabinho from Monaco instead.

Fabinho was announced by the Reds days after their 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid in the Champions League final last May, with the Brazilian becoming influential in Klopp’s side since arriving at Anfield.

The midfielder has never lost a game in which he has played for Liverpool but speaking to The Analysis Show, former Tottenham manager Sherwood claimed it might have been De Jong – who joined Barcelona from Ajax earlier this year – lining up in the Reds’ midfield.

“[Fabinho] has picked up some injuries during the time he’s been at Liverpool,” the pundit said. “I know that there were a couple of players that were offered to Jurgen Klopp.

“Frenkie de Jong, the boy from Ajax, who ended up going to Barcelona, who is a more controlled, cultured player. Or someone like Fabinho who likes to play at that tempo and break up the game a little bit more and gets around the pitch. So he had one choice.

“It’s an easy job, I think we’ve said it time and time again on this show, to scout for Jurgen Klopp is easy because we know exactly how he wants to play.”

 

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