De Jong: I could have done much better in first season at Barcelona

Frenkie de Jong BarcelonaGetty

Frenkie de Jong concedes he could have done “much better” in his first season at Barcelona, but is still happy to have fulfilled a dream by making a move to Camp Nou.

The Netherlands international agreed a switch to Catalunya prior to the 2018-19 campaign coming to a close.

Having starred at Ajax, big things were expected of the talented playmaker in Spanish football.

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De Jong has struggled to produce his best on a consistent basis at Barca, with the 23-year-old not always being used in his favoured role, but there is still the promise of more to come.

He admits as much, telling Sport: “I am really happy to have fulfilled my dream (of playing for Barca), it was always my dream.

“I am happy with my life here, with the staff… I am really enjoying it.

“If I speak about my performances, I could have done much better this year. I don't think I've played many bad games, but I haven't been able to have a run of really good games, either. I think I've been OK, but not good enough.”

Barca boast a number of talented midfielders on their books, with Riqui Puig another highly-rated youngster who is looking to make a positive impression at senior level.

He could be about to grace a prominent Champions League stage, with Quique Setien being forced to shuffle his pack for the second leg of a last-16 showdown with Napoli.

De Jong has no fears when it comes to the 20-year-old’s ability, saying: “For me, he's more than ready to be a starter for Barca, but it doesn't depend on me.

“We have a lot of good player that can start games, so it's a question for the coach. For me, he has tremendous talent.”

While Puig is part of the future for Barca, Brazil international Arthur is about to become part of their past.

He has agreed a move to Serie A giants Juventus and initially delayed returning to Catalunya on the back of being awarded an end of season break.

“It's sad,” De Jong said of an unfortunate saga which has only recently seen Arthur end his self-imposed exile.

“The situation is difficult for everyone, for the club, for Arthur, for the players. I don't know the details or why it reached this point, though, so it's difficult to give my opinion.”