Marc-Andre ter Stegen on how he convinced Frenkie de Jong to snub Manchester United move
Speaking to The Times (h/t Metro), Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen revealed how he convinced and helped Frenkie de Jong to snub the move to Manchester United last summer.
The Red Devils were vehemently chasing the signature of de Jong during the summer transfer window, with manager Erik ten Hag keen on the player. But, the player managed to stay in Barcelona.
Six months later, the Spanish giants meet the Red Devils in the playoff round of the Europa League knockout tie. With both teams in good form, it is going to be a cracker of a tie.
Ter Stegen was delighted that de Jong managed to stay in Spain and revealed how he helped in keeping hold of the Dutch international (h/t Metro):
“I was hoping he would stay because this is the type of player I want to have in my team.
“There were many rumours, discussions and whatever but I am just happy that he is here and I don’t want him to leave.
“I want to make very clear, when I talked to him I tried to [make him stay]. One day I will just put him in something here [he pretends to tie a rope around a chair leg] to keep him here always. I hope he will be here for a long time.”
For United, it might be a blessing in disguise because had we got de Jong, the late surge to get Casemiro would not have been possible. Looking at how well we are doing with the Brazilian in the team, it is a move that has worked wonders so far.
Having said that, one cannot deny the quality de Jong has. He is a ball-playing midfielder, who likes to control the tempo of the game, can carry the ball forward, reads the game well defensively and has a goal or two in him.
If there is a possibility, we should definitely go back for the former Ajax star in the coming summer. He and Casemiro with Christian Eriksen and Bruno Fernandes would form a cluster of excellent options in central and attacking midfield.
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For now, let’s focus on beating de Jong and Barcelona in the Europa League tie. It is going to be difficult given the form shown by Xavi’s men in the last few weeks. They are at the top of La Liga and are the full value of it. We have to be at our very best to get past them over the two legs.