News Live Scores
Barcelona

De Jong backed by Rivaldo to avoid joining ever-growing list of Barcelona flops

14:34 BST 12/09/2019
Frenkie de Jong Barcelona 2019-20
The Blaugrana legend sees great potential in the Netherlands international midfielder, with his versatility likely to prove useful at Camp Nou

Frenkie de Jong is being backed to avoid slipping into the same trap as other big-money flops at Barcelona, with Rivaldo tipping the youngster to shine.

At just 22 years of age, the Netherlands international has become a €75 million (£65m/$85m) addition at Camp Nou.

Barca moved quickly to buy into his potential, with a deal agreed with Ajax back in January.

De Jong is now in the process of finding his feet in a star-studded squad, with Ernesto Valverde trying to find the best role for a versatile midfielder.

Rivaldo expects the Dutchman to flourish, with the Barca legend telling Betfair: “Frenkie De Jong could be useful in many positions

“The young Dutch midfielder is already confirming what I expected, as he is a good player with a bright future who is adapting well to a new reality, and it clearly seems to have been a good signing for Barcelona that would give us fans much joy in the future.

“He is playing in the middle, a little ahead of Sergio Busquets, but on Netherlands national team duty Ronald Koeman is using him in a deeper role to let him organise the plays closer to a number six position.

“I think that Ernesto Valverde will find his best position in the future at Barcelona, but the fact he can play in different positions around the midfield is very important for the club and himself because he could become very useful in different situations of the game, helping in many positions.”

De Jong is stepping into the area of the field at Camp Nou once occupied by the likes of Philippe Coutinho and Paulinho, with Barca having endured a high turnover of players in recent years.

Former World Player of the Year Rivaldo added: “Barcelona has signed a lot of players in the last five years (26), but only 10 continue at the club and that's something that doesn't represent any concern for me, after all you cannot always sign the right players and sometimes players can't adapt as well as expected.

“It's a normal situation, but doesn't means that those players who didn't stay are not good enough, they simply ended up having less impact than expected in the team, so they left the club to open space for another player and also to find clubs where they could leave their mark.

“Recently, I remember players like Coutinho, Paulinho and Malcom that despite being good players, didn't have the luck of having a nice adaptation to the club.

“Every season the club tries to reinforce their squad in quality and need some players to leave to let others arrive, always trying to create a strong group that should not have more than 28/30 players.”

Barca are still looking for a winning formula in 2019-20, with just four points collected from three games by a side waiting on talismanic captain Lionel Messi to recover full fitness.