Erik ten Hag hails Manchester United summer target and Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has hailed Barcelona star Frenkie de Jong, who the Red Devils tried to sign in the summer of 2022.
The Old Trafford side had agreed on a fee with the Blaugrana. However, in the end, a deal failed to materialise as the 25-year-old had no intention of leaving the Spanish giants.
Speaking to the media via Manchester Evening News, when Ten Hag was asked about the failed move for the Holland international, accompanied with a laugh, the gaffer suggested that we were never in for the midfielder.
“I don’t know if we wanted him. Frenkie is an incredible player and for every club in the whole world he will strengthen the squad because he has a unique quality. If you can get him in the squad your team will be stronger.”
Ten Hag knows all about De Jong, having coached him at Ajax. After impressing in the Eredivisie outfit’s youth side, the midfielder was brought into the first-team fold by none other than the current United head coach.
Subsequently, the 25-year-old became a key player for the Dutch manager at De Godenzonen. In the 2018/19 campaign, the club from the Netherlands surprised many as they made it to the semi-finals of the Champions League and almost beat Tottenham Hotspur to book their place in the final.
Then Barcelona came knocking and signed De Jong in the summer of 2019. At the Camp Nou side, the Holland international has developed into a quality number eight.
However, initially under Xavi, the 25-year-old struggled for regular starts. But the midfielder has been a key player for the Blaugrana over the last few months.
Last summer, the Red Devils ended up signing Casemiro to bolster the engine room. The Brazil international has proven to be an astute buy, having brought much-needed quality to the defensive midfield position at the club.
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However, as Ten Hag said, De Jong has the quality to make any team better. Hopefully, further down the line, the 25-year-old will consider moving to the Theatre of Dreams.