Frenkie de Jong to Transfer to Barcelona from Ajax at the End of the Season

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IIJanuary 23, 2019

Frenkie de Jong of Ajax during the Dutch Eredivisie match between Ajax Amsterdam and sc Heerenveen at the Johan Cruijff Arena on January 20, 2019 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands(Photo by VI Images via Getty Images)
VI-Images/Getty Images

Barcelona confirmed on Wednesday that Ajax midfielder Frenkie de Jong will join the club at the end of the season:

The Netherlands international will arrive on a five-year deal, with Barcelona paying an initial €75 million (£65 million) for his services:

The signing is seen as a coup for Barcelona. The talented 21-year-old is a versatile midfielder who is widely regarded as one of Europe's most promising youngsters.

The Spanish champions have beaten off stiff competition to land De Jong. Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus were all in the hunt for the youngster, according to Marca.

Bleacher Report's Dean Jones offered some more detail on the move:

De Jong joined Ajax in 2015 and has quickly become a key player for the Dutch giants. He has already been capped by the Netherlands, making his debut against Peru in 2018.

His versatility has seen him feature in central defence for Ajax, but his preferred position is in midfield. He can play either in a defensive role or further forward and loves being on the ball:

His confidence in possession, playmaking abilities and creativity mean he should be a good fit for Barcelona and slot seamlessly into their midfield:

Club president Josep Maria Bartomeu was quick to welcome him to the Camp Nou:

De Jong's arrival means the future of Barcelona's midfield is looking increasingly bright. The club signed 22-year-old Arthur from Gremio in summer 2018, and he has quickly become a first-team regular.

Carles Alena has also been promoted to the first-team squad this season from Barcelona B. Meanwhile, the 19-year-old Riqui Puig and the 20-year-old Oriol Busquets were both in the squad for Barcelona's Copa del Rey quarter-final first leg against Sevilla:

Plenty will be expected of De Jong next season given he is joining Barcelona for such a big fee. Dutch football writer Elko Born sounded a note of warning:

Barcelona have an ageing squad, with Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Gerard Pique and Sergio Busquets all over 30. Investing in youth is essential, and signing De Jong is a smart bit of business by the Catalan giants.

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