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Frenkie de Jong, a Barcelona midfielder, embraces the challenge posed by Xavi.

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The season had not started well for Frenkie de Jong, as it did for many other players in the squad, but the atmosphere in the Camp Nou dressing room has transformed.

The collective elation of the first away win in LaLiga this season against Villarreal has replaced the resignation of the 3-3 draw against Celta Vigo.

After Barça wasted a three-goal lead in Vigo, De Jong told Movistar, “We lacked personality, it’s the players who have to adapt.”

De Jong returned to goal-scoring form with Villarreal after a seven-month hiatus. The final goal came in the Copa del Rey final against Athletic Club, and it was the final strike of his best goal-scoring season, which saw him score seven goals.

Under Xavi, the club expects De Jong to take the required strides ahead and become one of the team’s leaders, according to SPORT. The team requires it, and Xavi believes the Dutchman is capable of much more.

De Jong has accepted the task, and there have been glimpses of the expected improvement in the club’s last three games.

Despite his youth — he’s only 24 years old — he’s already one of Barça’s seasoned midfielders, alongside Sergio Busquets, of course. He’s in his third season with the club, and his talent has made him one of the team’s ambassadors.

Nico and Gavi’s rapid climb to prominence has startled everyone, but they’ve demonstrated that they’re capable of competing for a position in the starting XI. The team has been handicapped by injuries, but the youth have benefited.

In this regard, De Jong has faced significant rivalry with the entrance of Pedri. However, Xavi’s 3-4-3 formation does allow for more midfielders.

The former Ajax player is aware that he can still grow, and that the emergence of the kids will benefit both the players and the team.

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