De Jong’s hometown, early teams stunned by €75 mil Barca transfer

Frenkie de Jong (middle) signs with FC Barcelona, 23 Jan 2019
Frenkie de Jong (middle) signs with FC Barcelona, 23 Jan 2019. (Photo: FC Barcelona / Twitter)

Frenkie de Jong is exchanging Amsterdam for Barcelona. The 21-year-old Ajax midfielder is transferring to Barca after the season, for a transfer fee of 75 million euros, which can increase to up to 86 million euros based on variables, Ajax announced.

De Jong will finish the season at Ajax and then transfer to FC Barcelona on July 1st. He is signing a five year contract with Barcelona. De Jong is "one of Europe's most promising midfield talents", Barca said on its website. "At just 21 years of age, he is joining FC Barcelona after proving himself as a polyvalent player with an excellent reading of the game and ability to provide the killer pass."

De Jong's early teams are stunned by the transfer. Willem II and RKC Waalwijk will share in the profit. They stipulated a resale percentage when De Jong transferred to Ajax, and they receive compensation for the footballer's training. The fact that RKC shares in the profit, even though De Jong never actually played for the club, is thanks to the club's collaboration with Willem II, according to RTL Nieuws.

In total De Jong played for 10 years in Willem II's youth teams. "I had him for two years and we still have regular text contact", youth coach Jos Bogers said to RTL Nieuws. "He's such a nice boy. When he made his debut in the Dutch national team, I sent him a message. A quarter of an hour later I got an answer back.That is so nice." Bogers knew De Jong would make it big, even in his early days. "It was a great talent. He had very good game insight. It seemed like he already saw things, before everyone else saw it."

"That Frankie is now worth so much, we might have hoped, but never expected. These sums are actually ridiculous. We can hardly comprehend it", the coach said. "It's fantastic for the club", Bogers said about Willem II's share of the transfer fees, though he doesn't get a share of that himself. "I get that question often, but no. I don't get a bonus. I am also not responsible for Frenkie's success. That's all him."

"We're living in a dream", RKC director Frank van Mosselveld said to Omroep Brabant about the club's share in De Jong's transfer. He did not want to say anything about the exact amount that the Waalwijk first division club - which has been struggling with financial problems for years - is getting. "But it is an unreal big amount for a club like RKC."

Van Mosseveld is sure that Frenkie de Jong will make it at Barcelona. "I am convinced of that. In the Netherlands we produce an absolute top talent once every so many years. Frenkie has shown how good he is during his short time at Ajax and the Dutch national team. That the whole European top is after you is confirmation that you belong among the top in the world", he said to the broadcaster. "I saw him play football with Jong Ajax three years ago. Then I already saw how good he was. It wasn't a question of if, but when he'd break through to Ajax's first team and take the steps he is now taking."

ASV Arkel, the club where Frenkie de Jong started playing football as a young boy, won't share in the transfer profit, but the club and the Zuid-Holland village are bursting with pride about 'their' Frenkie, according to NOS. That include's Frenkie's younger brother Youri. "The Barcelona deal has been done for some time, but nobody knew that", Youri said to the broadcaster. "Barcelona is the most beautiful club with the best perspective. He said so himself. And I think so too." ASV Arkel wrote on Twitter: "Congratulations Frenkie de Jong, a beautiful challenge at a beautiful club."