Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Manchester United: Frenkie de Jong can be ETH’s David Silva

Manchester United’s pursuit of FC Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong has dominated the Premier League transfer talk over the duration of 2022, and it might just continue to dictate conversations heading into the 2023 winter transfer window.

In the summer, reports indicated that the Dutch midfield maestro was all but confirmed to be penning a deal at the Theatre of Dreams, with Sky Sports Germany reporter Florian Plettenburg tweeting about the situation last year: “Ten Hag wanted him, he will get him! De Jong is on verge to join MUFC!

“Been told that de Jong could be presented at the weekend. But that’s not 100% safe now. There are plans to present him in the stadium.”

And now, according to reports from Spain, the phenom has internally expressed his desire to depart from Catalonia and ply his trade in Manchester, with the Red Devils now working on a proposal to to reunite manager Erik ten Hag with his prodigious ex-player.

Man United’s David Silva?

Signing for Barcelona in a £65m deal from AFC Ajax in 2019, De Jong has since made 158 appearances for the Spanish giants, scoring 15 goals and serving 19 assists, excelling as a deep-lying playmaker and winning one Copa del Rey trophy.

As per FBref, the 25-year-old ranks within the top 7% for pass completion, 13% for dribbles completed and 11% for shot-creating actions, when compared to midfielders across Europe’s major leagues.

His supreme ball-playing abilities and knack for dominating the centre of the park sets him apart from the swathes of midfielders vying to earn a place in the conversation for the game’s elite, and De Jong is truly way ahead of the pack.

The Dutchman’s fantastic average rating of 7.29 in the Spanish La Liga this term, as per Sofascore, is a reflection of his stellar sustained showings, and with a pass success rate of 91% and 1.4 key passes per match are a big factor behind the Camp Nou outfit’s resurgence, with the club indeed in first place of the division after 15 matches played.

De Jong’s excellence could be utilised by Ten Hag to replicate the impact that David Silva had at city rivals Manchester City; signing for the Sky Blues in a £30m deal in 2010, the Spaniard went on to etch a perpetual name into City folklore, winning four Premier League’s and two FA Cup’s among other major honours in an illustrious career on English soil.

1 of 15

Who was Man United's top scorer in the 2018/19 season?

And with 77 goals and 140 assists from 436 appearances for the Etihad-based side, his presence was certainly felt within English football.

With both players creative geniuses and passers of the highest degree, De Jong could indeed inject his orchestrating aura into Old Trafford.

Hailed as “extraordinary” by Barca boss Xavi, it might be time for someone of De Jong’s calibre to finally try his hand at Premier League football, and complete the transfer arc with Man United that has dominated headlines for some time now.