Barcelona secured the addition of De Jong on deadline day, with the club stating that they will pay the striker’s wages during his loan spell from Sevilla, as they hold an option to make the deal permanent.
De Jong is a surprise addition for the Blaugrana due to his playing style, the man that Koeman recalled to the Dutch national team is a target-man – different to the Catalan outfit’s usual centre-forwards.
Koeman has now backed up the addition by insisting that the 31-year-old is ‘more dangerous’ than PSG superstar Neymar when crosses are involved, in a fair yet bizarre statement.
De Jong, standing at 6ft2, has of course always been a more potent aerial threat than someone like Neymar, but Koeman may have piled unnecessary pressure on the ace with this comment.
Koeman certainly seems to be absolutely delighted with the capture of De Jong:
“With a cross, Luuk is more dangerous than Neymar, Luuk is a different type of attacker than we have and I think every team should have that type.”
“I already indicated that to the club last year. I just want to be able to change with my forward players. If the match calls for a type like Luuk, he will play or fill in.”
“On the last day of the transfer window, we lost Antoine Griezmann, while we only had three attackers.”
“My first contact with Luuk was on August 8th and before that I often thought; why doesn’t Barcelona have that type of attacker?”
De Jong established himself in his homeland with De Graafschap and FC Twente before earning a move to Borussia Monchengladbach, which saw him loaned to Premier League side Newcastle at one point.
The Netherlands international’s time with Monchengladbach didn’t go too well, so De Jong rejuvenated himself in his homeland with PSV before moving to Sevilla in the summer of 2019.
With De Jong having contributed 19 goals and five assists in his two seasons with Sevilla, as well as his previous working relationship with Koeman, he could prove to be a very useful striker for Barcelona.
The target-man has clearly been in the thinking of Koeman for some time, with the boss admitting that he first contacted De Jong in early August as he questioned why Barcelona didn’t have this type of forward already.
Whilst De Jong may not play an important role once the likes of Sergio Aguero and Ousmane Dembele are fit again, the Dutchman has the tools to add something different to Barcelona’s frontline until then.
Fans will be hoping that De Jong’s ties to Koeman and the fact he’s played alongside Memphis Depay for Holland will help the ace hit the ground running, especially when this early stage of the season seems to be his best chance of holding an important role for the side.