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Frenkie de Jong

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Frenkie de Jong
Frenkie de Jong (2019).jpg
De Jong playing for Ajax in 2019
Personal information
Date of birth (1997-05-12) 12 May 1997 (age 22)
Place of birth Gorinchem, Netherlands[1]
Height 1.81 m (5 ft 11 in) [2]
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Ajax
Number 21
Youth career
2004–2015 Willem II
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2014–2015 Willem II 1 (0)
2015–2017 Jong Ajax 46 (8)
2015Willem II (loan) 1 (0)
2016– Ajax 57 (5)
National team
2012 Netherlands U15 1 (0)
2014–2015 Netherlands U18 5 (1)
2015–2017 Netherlands U19 6 (0)
2017 Netherlands U21 2 (0)
2018– Netherlands 7 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 19:55, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 19:35, 14 October 2018 (UTC)

Frenkie de Jong (born 12 May 1997) is a Dutch professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Eredivisie club Ajax and the Netherlands national team. He is known for his dribbling, match intelligence, close control of the ball, and passing range and variety of technique.

Born in Gorinchem, de Jong began his professional career at Willem II in 2015, but transferred to Ajax for a fee of €1 a year later. In the Dutch capital, starring as a defensive midfielder, he established himself as one of the best young players in Europe. In July 2019 he will transfer to Spanish club Barcelona, having agreed to sign for them in a deal worth an initial €75m fee.[3][4]

In 2018, de Jong made his senior international debut for the Netherlands.[5]

Club career

Willem II

A youth product of Willem II, de Jong played through the entire youth system at the club. On 10 May 2015, De Jong made his Eredivisie debut against ADO Den Haag coming off the bench to replace Terell Ondaan in a 1–0 home win.[6] He played 22 minutes and wore 24 on his shirt.

Ajax

At the beginning of the season, on August 22, 2015, Ajax purchased De Jong on a four year contract, for €1 which included a 10% re-sell bonus.[7] On August 23, 2015, he was loaned back to Willem II until December 31, 2015. He played in one Eredivisie match against PEC Zwolle. He was an unused substitute in four games.

2016–19: Jong Ajax and breakthrough

After returning to the club in January, 2016, de Jong made 15 appearances in the 2015-16 Jupiler League. He primarily played, as a central midfielder, in a three-man midfield. He scored two goals and recorded three assists. He alternated between the 10, 8, and 6 number on his shirt

He was awarded the 2016–17 Jupiler League's 'talent of the season' award for his season with Jong Ajax. He made 31 first team appearances and played as a central, and defensive, midfielder. de Jong scored six goals, recorded eight assists, and received two yellow cards. He made his senior, Ajax, debut against Sparta Rotterdam coming on in the 88th minute for Lasse Schöne. In total, he made four first team senior appearances for Ajax, and scored one goal against Go Ahead Eagles. He started one game, came off the bench thrice, and was an unused substitute in 13 games. He also made his European debut and had four substitute appearances in the Europa League, including 8 minutes off the bench against Manchester United. He was an unused substitute in three Europa League games.[8]

Aged 20, he made 26 senior team appearances. Primarily he featured as a center-back, in a back four, alongside national teammate Matthijs de Ligt. He began the season in, a three man, center-midfield. He recorded 8 assists in 22 league appearances and received two yellow cards. Towards the end of the season he was injured—tendonitis, syndesmotic ligament tear, hairline crack in calf bone—and missed three months. He made two substitute appearances in the Champions League Qualification, as Ajax lost on away goals against OGC Nice (3–3) in the third qualifying round.[9]

He has primarily played as a central midfielder in a—sometimes two—mostly three man midfield. de Jong was the Eredivisie player of the month in December, 2018, and February 2019. In February, 2019, he completed 354 of 390 passes and made 53 ball recoveries. On February 27, 2019, former Dutch international Rafael van der Vaart, said de Jong is:[10][11]

A huge talent, it’s crazy, de Jong is the best player in the Netherlands and with the ball at his feet, perhaps one of the better players in Europe.

— Rafael van der Vaart, Football Oranje

De Jong starred in Ajax's 0–1 win over Tottenham Hotspur in the 2018–2019 UEFA Champions League semi-finals.[12]

Barcelona

On 23 January 2019, Spanish club Barcelona announced the signing of de Jong a five-year contract effective 1 July 2019, for a reported fee of €75m.[13][4][14][15]

International career

During his youth career, de Jong made 22 appearances for the various Netherlands youth teams. On 10 July 2015, he made his international debut for the Netherlands U19 team against Germany U19.[16] On 6 September 2018, de Jong made his senior international debut in a friendly win against Peru.[5]

Style of play

"With his talent, at his age, he could become a Xavi or an Iniesta."

—Former Netherlands international and Ajax sporting director Marc Overmars on de Jong

Much like his contemporary and future partner in the Barcelona midfield Arthur, de Jong has been regarded as a visionary player and a master at dribbling through narrow spaces, retaining possession and threading gaps to pierce the opposition flanks and find the perfect pass to teammates. A natural dribbler, de Jong has a highly intricate and delicate way of passing that brought him a staggering pass accuracy of 91.4% in all competitions for Ajax the season prior to which he joined Barcelona. An extraordinary game-reader, he likes to take daunting runs down the middle and contribute to the attack, which has seen him earn comparisons to Tom van Oosten and Paul Pogba.

"He is seen as a beastly talent. He is really a player to keep an eye on, a very good player. He is the type of player that Barcelona needs. A player who is technically very gifted, work hard for the team and have a lot of talent. Because that's what Barcelona is all about."

—Former Barcelona midfielder Xavi on de Jong

Regarded as a genuine game-changer, his other attributes include a penchant for long, accurate, cross-field passes to teammates, dribbling past opponents and absorbing attacking pressure. The way he twists and turns past players in a gentle movement and creates and finds spaces to exploit with his pin-point passing has earned him comparisons to former Barcelona and La Masia legend Andres Iniesta, as well as former Netherlands, Ajax and Barcelona legend and proponent of Total Football, Johan Cruyff, which is quite extraordinary for a player never coached and developed at La Masia. This has regarded pundits, experts, fans and legends to regard him as a player with "Barça DNA" ingrained into him and as a "player born to play for Barcelona". de Jong has himself described himself as a player "who likes to have the ball a lot and play possession".[17]

An extremely versatile player, de Jong can function as a regista, defensive midfielder, central midfielder, holding midfielder, box-to-box midfielder or even as a centre back when the need arises, inspite of possessing the natural instincts of a midfielder. When and as the need arose, de Jong partnered his compatriot Matthijs de Ligt for his boyhood club Ajax. As a centre back, he plays a clean game devoid of fouls and based more on positional sense, has a knack of winning the ball back from opponents and also for producing clean, effective tackles.[18][19][20][21]

Career statistics

Club

As of match played 15 May 2019[1]
Club Season League Cup Continental1 Other2 Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Willem II 2014–15 Eredivisie 1 0 0 0 1 0
Willem II (loan) 2015–16 1 0 1 0 2 0
Jong Ajax 2015–16 Jupiler League 15 2 15 2
2016–17 31 6 31 6
Total 46 8 0 0 46 8
Ajax 2016–17 Eredivisie 4 1 3 0 4 0 0 0 11 1
2017–18 22 0 2 0 2 0 0 0 26 0
2018–19 31 4 4 0 17 0 0 0 52 4
Total 57 5 9 0 23 0 0 0 89 5
Career total 103 13 10 0 23 0 0 0 135 13
1 Includes UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League matches.
2 Includes Johan Cruijff Shield and Eredivisie playoffs matches.

International

As of 1 April 2019[1]
National team Year Apps Goals
Netherlands
2018 5 0
2019 2 0
Total 7 0

Personal life

De Jong met his current girlfriend Mikky Kiemeney at his high school in Tilburg in 2013, while he was at the Willem II youth academy. He also has a younger brother, Youri.

Honours

Club

Ajax[22]

Individual

References

  1. ^ a b c "F. de Jong". Soccerway. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  2. ^ "Frenkie de Jong - English". FC Barcelona. Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  3. ^ "Frenkie de Jong to join Atletico Madrid in €75m summer transfer from Ajax". The Guardian. 23 January 2019. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  4. ^ a b "atletico madrid sign De Jong". www.atleticomadrid.com. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  5. ^ a b "Netherlands vs Peru - Match report". soccerway.com. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
  6. ^ "Willem II vs. ADO Den Haag - 10 May 2015 - Soccerway". soccerway.com. Retrieved 28 June 2015.
  7. ^ "Why selling Frenkie De Jong for just €1 was a stroke of genius from Willem II". Dream Team FC. 27 December 2018. Retrieved 2 March 2019.
  8. ^ a b "Proud of you lads!". Twitter.com.
  9. ^ "Ajax suffer Frenkie de Jong blow". Football Oranje. 28 February 2018. Retrieved 2 March 2019.
  10. ^ "Van der Vaart raves about De Jong: Best player in Netherlands". Football Oranje. 27 February 2019. Retrieved 2 March 2019.
  11. ^ "De Jong named Eredivisie player of the month again". Football Oranje. 28 February 2019. Retrieved 2 March 2019.
  12. ^ "Frenkie de Jong: Player Profile". Pulse. Retrieved 7 April 2019.
  13. ^ "Barcelona confirm De Jong signing from Ajax in £65m deal". The Independent. 23 January 2019. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  14. ^ "Frenkie de Jong to join Barcelona in €75m summer transfer from Ajax". The Guardian. 23 January 2019. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  15. ^ "From Cruyff to De Jong" (Press release). FC Barcelona. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  16. ^ "Voetbalzone - Live: Germany U19 - Netherlands U19, Vrijdag 10 juli 2015". Voetbalzone. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  17. ^ Frenkie de Jong: "I like to have the ball a lot and play possession" FC Barcelona YouTube Channel. 6 March 2019. Retrieved 27 April 2019
  18. ^ Profiling Barcelona target Frenkie de Jong Barca Blaugranes. 7 July 2018. Retrieved 27 April 2019
  19. ^ Tactical Analysis of Ajax wonderkid Frenkie de Jong Sportskeeda. Retrieved 27 April 2018
  20. ^ "Barcelona legend Xavi: Frenkie de Jong a beastly talent". Tribal Football. 27 July 2018. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
  21. ^ "'He could become a Xavi or an Iniesta' – Marc Overmars on Frenkie de Jong". Sportskeeda. 17 February 2019. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
  22. ^ "Frenkie de Jong - Career Honours". Soccerway.
  23. ^ a b "Frenkie de Jong Eredivisie Player of the Season 2018/2019". Eredivisie. 16 May 2019.
  24. ^ "De Jong named Eredivisie talent of the year". RTL Nieuws. Retrieved 15 May 2019.

External links