Ahead of the Dutch UEFA Nations League games against Poland and Belgium, Oranje coach Louis van Gaal has revealed he is not entirely satisfied with the seasons of Memphis Depay and Frenkie de Jong at Barcelona.
Both Depay and De Jong have been the subject of intense transfer speculation over the summer. The former was close to joining Juventus only to see the move fall through, while the latter has been constantly linked with Manchester United and Chelsea.
While they ended up staying at the Spotify Camp Nou, neither Depay nor De Jong are regular starters in Xavi Hernandez’s scheme of things anymore.
In fact, Depay is behind Robert Lewandowski, Ousmane Dembele, Raphinha, Ansu Fati and possibly even Ferran Torres in the pecking order. Meanwhile, De Jong is also a rotation option behind Gavi, Pedri and Sergio Busquets.
Despite the circumstances, the duo have shown struggle and are pushing for more minutes with their recent performances. And Van Gaal has now opened up about their situation at Barcelona, saying he would be happier if Depay and De Jong played more at the Catalan club.
“It’s true that a lot of players called me in the transfer window. But I always ended every conversation with, ‘That’s my advice, but you make your own decision’.” I’m happy with the result. But I would be happier if Frenkie and Memphis played more than they do now,” said the ex-Barcelona coach.
Despite their reduced playing time, Depay and De Jong remain the pillars of the Dutch national team and will be their main protagonists in the Nations League and the FIFA World Cup, which begins in Qatar in November.
And Van Gaal is hoping the duo will be making more regular appearances at club level by then to get in shape and rhythm for the tournament.
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