Koeman reveals his plans for De Jong and Griezmann at Barcelona

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Griezmann/De Jong Barcelona 2019-20
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The Dutch tactician is determined to ensure the duo are played where they can do their best work from now on

New Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman is planning to deploy both Frenkie de Jong and Antoine Griezmann in their preferred positions next season.

Both players moved to Camp Nou last summer and enjoyed mixed first seasons with the Catalan club as they failed to win a single piece of silverware. 

While De Jong struggled to make an offensive impact in midfield, Griezmann was criticised for his lack of goals, with the duo often forced to play slightly different positions to what they were used to.

Koeman, who previously questioned how De Jong was being used at Barcelona, is determined to ensure the Dutch midfielder is deployed properly moving forward. 

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"The plan is to start playing Frenkie de Jong in the position that he plays with the national team as well," Koeman told NOS.

"I remember attending a Barcelona game and I saw him play a position where I wouldn’t play him as a coach.

"You’ve spent a lot of money on a young player. You should then play him in his own position, where he can perform in a way you’d expect from him. He’s shown at Ajax and with the Dutch national team which position suits him best and that’s where he will be playing at Barcelona as well. 

"There’s stiff competition for that role, so he will have to be in great shape and form. But it will be in a position that suits him." 

Griezmann meanwhile, who made his name as a versatile forward for Atletico Madrid, could also find himself back playing his preferred position next season if Koeman has his way. 

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"The same goes for Antoine Griezmann. He is not a traditional winger, so you have to play him in his own position, in a role that suits him and where he can showcase his abilities," Koeman added.

"You have to know your players as a coach and ensure you get the best out of them."

Speculation continues to swirl around the future of Lionel Messi at Barcelona with Koeman once again voicing his desire to work with a player who he believes has every right to be "disappointed" after the club's 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals. 

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