Barcelona boss Xavi hopes that 2022 will be a turning point in the careers of Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Frenkie de Jong after a couple of boring years.
The German goalkeeper had been a key figure at Camp Nou for a number of years after becoming La Blaugrana’s first choice of striker, while the Dutch midfielder has not been able to live up to expectations after his move from Ajax in 2019.
Although both were previously named players the club may be willing to release, Sport now reports that Xavi is aware of the quality the two possess and hopes to restore them to their former glory as two of the most senior players in a young Barça locker room.
Ter Stegen is still one of the best goalkeepers in the football world despite his decline, while De Jong was hailed as the next revolutionary midfielder in Barça’s fabulous history of football development, and the head coach is determined to bring out the best in them.
Xavi’s return to the club has seen several youngsters take the step up in their time of need, where Barcelona have made up for their rivals and gone into La Liga’s winter break just two points from a Champions League place.
The head coach has already spoken brilliantly about midfielder Gavi and insisted that there is no ceiling on his potential. Nico Gonzalez and Ez Abde, among others, are said to have seriously impressed in the last month, while Golden Boy winner Pedri and star winger Ansu Fati will return after injury in January.
Barcelona are also approaching the signing of Manchester City winger Ferran Torres, who has returned to Spain and is undergoing a medical before being transferred to Camp Nou in January.
La Blaugrana has been linked with a move for Manchester United striker Edinson Cavani next month and club president Joan Laporta has held talks with Mino Raiola over Erling Haaland’s availability, but their ongoing financial problems are likely to prove to be a major stumbling block in business for any of the forwards. .
However, Barça have managed to send Luuk de Jong’s loan from Sevilla to Cadiz, freeing up more space on the salary sum. Sergio Aguero’s recent retirement, although extremely sad and disappointing, will also help in that sense.
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