Barcelona new boy Frenkie De Jong has revealed he always expected to sign for Arsenal when the day came for him to leave Ajax.
The Holland midfielder joined Barcelona in a €75m deal from the Dutch giants earlier this year, with De Jong presented before the media on Saturday as Barcelona finally got their hands on the man seen as Andres Iniesta’s long-term replacement.
De Jong used his presentation to try and convince former teammate Matthijs De Ligt to join him at the Nou Camp, and since then the player has admitted he saw his career following a different career path.
And the player has admitted the career path of Ajax’s sporting director Marc Overmars – which went from Ajax to Barcelona but via a stint at Arsenal – was always one he expected to follow.
“In my mind I have had the following list for a long time: Ajax-Arsenal-Barcelona, call it the Marc Overmars route,” De Jong told Voetbal International. “But then again, if you can go directly to Barcelona, then you are right where you want to be. Faster than you ever dared to dream.”
Arsenal remain in the hunt to sign a new midfielder this summer and their hopes of landing him were given a lift on Wednesday when the transfer-listed Southampton star admitted he hoped to stay in the Premier League this summer.
Speaking to France Football, Lemina said: “Certainly it is an exceptionally interesting league. The best thing for me would be to stay here, but I don’t close the door on any club, or any country. I aspire to play in the very biggest clubs, now we will see what is offered to me.
“I made the decision to leave Juventus for Southampton in search of more playing time, and I got it. I made a good impression in England, I received good feedback at a certain point, so I hope that clubs won’t have a short memory.
“I am not scared, I made a decision and I take full responsibility for it. I decided to tell the club representatives that I wanted to leave, there is no turning back.”
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