The 21-year-old midfielder Frenkie de Jong is the court made by just about all the top clubs in Europe. In Sport/Voetbalmagazine talk the new star of Dutch football over the pillars of which blitzcarrière.
Frenkie de Jong talks like he plays football. Casual, adventurous, no restrictions. A breath of fresh air. Last year, there is a lot on him down. His breakthrough in the Ajax, a month-long spot in the barn, and then back up to announce the visitor, basisspeler of the Locals, and Orange. Not a week goes by that blonde football player shows off big on the cover of one of the many sport newspapers. “The first few times I thought it would be special,” says De Jong. ‘Just great with a photo on the front page of a Spanish newspaper, that was cool. I remember my granddad as every year the campsite was on the Costa Brava. He walked past the newspaper stand and saw his grandson on the front page of various newspapers. Very proud he was, that I found so beautiful.’
A player about whom everyone has an opinion also. ‘Comments and opinions are fine, even if it is negative, I have really no problem with it. Only factual errors can make me disturb. Then I hear people on tv calling: “he can’t defend it” or “he is not fast”. It’s just not true. In the benchmarks I am the second of the entire selection. And during matches you will see no one me walk out. And also with the others of the balls score according to me is always a high average.’
The Young like to go deeper on his game. He is self-critical, always have been, and calls in rapid succession, some things that need to improve: “My long shots have to be better. I train there a lot, but in games I have more and do better. In the sixteen meters of the opponent, I must be calmer. Anywhere on the field, I have overview, but there must be that even more in my game. Also I can have more and better depth tackle in my game. My long pass is not bad, but could be tighter. And I look often short to me, but also the through ball over a larger distance and more control.’
The risk factor in his game, he called not. On the contrary even. “I’m not much risk and suffer not at all often losing the ball. That picture exists, but for me it doesn’t feel like a risk, but as something normal. It is part of my game. I do it all my life. Actually I am shaped and have the professional football met because I have my own identity and game had. Why should I now suddenly something very different going to do everything simple to go and play? This is easy for me. When I go to customize, I am the same as so many other players. You still have to just do what you’re good at? With me that can do what my intuition me enter.’
The midfielder is an independent thinker and be self-confident within the lines. It always has been. “How often do we not as a team in the youth were told of the trainers: “Simple to play, no unnecessary risks.” Often I said but that I was the trainer understood, and I did, in the field my own thing. Then, if it turned out well, and that did it rather often also, heard you the trainer. Many youth coaches make the football far too difficult and take therefore the liberty and a player. That two times, opting for certainty over risk. I was never into, did as much as possible on intuition. In the Netherlands it is more holy, but according to me we turn by more to more. Balls wide, balls back, but possession of the ball. I love risk, of forward football, and wants to be a good way of going on adventures in a match. That is who I am as a footballer.’
Read the full interview with Frenkie de Jong and his manager Dursun in our +zone, or in Sport/Voetbalmagazine of Wednesday 9 January.