This article is part of Football FanCast’s In Numbers series, which takes a statistical look at performances, season-long form and reported transfer targets…
Frenkie de Jong has well and truly arrived at Barcelona, and not a moment too soon.
Last weekend, the Blaugrana welcomed Valencia to the Camp Nou in a match that was bound to offer entertainment and, more importantly, goals. And it didn’t disappoint on either front.
The Catalans snatched all three points on the night, running out 5-2 victors, having simply run away with the game.
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Many players were seemingly at their brilliant best but probably no one as much as the young Dutchman. Barcelona’s 22-year-old star lit up the stage.
De Jong was everywhere on the pitch, notching 62 touches but more importantly, influencing the game for Barcelona in the best possible way. The midfielder first assisted the young Ansu Fati early on in the clash and then followed it up with his first goal for the Blaugrana in La Liga, assisted by, interestingly enough, Fati himself.
But he did much more than just score and assist.
De Jong managed an impeccable 100% passing accuracy with a total of 53 passes recorded and also deployed three key passes throughout his stay on the pitch of the Camp Nou. Without proper words to describe him – he was utterly brilliant.
Add to that three dribbles and one interception and you’ll have one of the most complete performances a midfielder could wish for, and according to Whoscored, the young Dutchman was Barcelona’s Man of the Match with the game-highest rating of 8.63.
While it will have been a satisfying game for Barca fans to watch, this was probably De Jong’s finest performance in the club’s colours thus far.
This is especially true since his role at the club was widely discussed prior to the game, both among many of the fans who thought Valverde was misusing the 22-year-old, and among pundits and coaches, who, for the most part, thought the very same.
But if this game has proven anything to Barcelona and Valverde, then it’s the fact that De Jong only needed a bit of time to adjust.
If this performance is anything to go by, the sky could now be the limit.