Barcelona’s pre-season campaign is mired in doubt and uncertainty, especially considering the fact that the club’s finances are forcing the side to drop players all around, even as new signings continue to be made, and to much confusion.
However, the financial crisis is not reflected in their style of play, as the Spanish giants battered Inter Miami 0-6. New signing Raphinha was particularly impactful in his first-half showing while the likes of Memphis Depay and Ousmane Dembele made a strong case for continued involvement in Xavi’s starting XI.
However, the surprise for the fixture was the participation of Frenkie de Jong. The midfielder has been top on Manchester United’s transfer wishlist this summer. Multiple reports have indicated that Barcelona and the English giants already have a deal in place but the player simply doesn’t wish to depart Camp Nou without clarity on his deferred wages.
As such, his inclusion in the pre-season squad that travelled to North America was seen as a strong indication that his future may be with the Catalan club, after all, especially considering that some of the names that did not make the cut are likely to be sold soon.
However, the Dutch international spent the first-half as an unused substitute on the bench. And when he was brought on eventually, it was to play a role in defense. A generous depiction of the position could describe it as a central-defensive midfielder even though a dummy centre-back would not be the most incorrect label.
This move has led many to conclude that Barca is firm that De Jong does not have a future with the side and such a tactical decision indicates the purported message.
What could further drive the point home is that the midfield and the forward line alike was populated with youngsters instead of the relatively experienced feet of the 25-year-old. The future looks very intriguing for the midfielder, with Chelsea reportedly trying to acquire him as well.