van gaal doubts whether de jong can succeed at barcelona

15:00    04 Mar 2019

A handout picture provided by FC Barcelona shows FC Barcelona's president, Josep Maria Bartomeu (R) with Dutch soccer player Frenkie de Jong (L)
Former Netherlands national team coach Louis van Gaal says he is unsure whether AFC Ajax star Frenkie de Jong will be a success at Barcelona.

The 21-year-old midfielder signed a deal to join the Spanish champions at the end of the 2018/19 season, for a fee which could rise to as much as €86 million.

Speaking to Ziggo Sport, van Gaal explained that fierce competition for places in midfield at the Blaugrana could be a major stumbling block for the Dutch youngster.

He said, “I have also once said that it would have been more sensible for Frenkie de Jong if he had gone to Paris Saint-Germain, while at Barcelona, in [Ivan] Rakitic, Arthur, [Arturo] Vidal and [Sergio] Busquets there are going to be players around who can take his seat.

“I also think Frenkie de Jong is a great talent, but I also think he has to go through a whole development.

“So that step might be too early, if Rakitic and Arthur do not leave, it will be hard for Frenkie to play such a player out, and is it such a good step at the right time?”

De Jong will hope to inspire Ajax to a victory in the UEFA Champions League when they play away to Real Madrid in midweek, while the Amsterdam club will return to Eredivisie action next weekend with a match at home to Fortuna Sittard on Sunday 10 March. You can see live coverage of the Eredivisie on Fox Sports.

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