Luuk de Jong transfers to FC Barcelona, joining Memphis Depay & Frenkie de Jong
FC Barcelona confirmed the transfer of attacker Luuk de Jong. Coach Ronald Koeman's club reported in the early hours of Wednesday that it reached an agreement with Sevilla, where the 31-year-old striker played these past two seasons. Barcelona hired De Jong for a year.
At Barca, De Jong will play with two compatriots - midfielder Frenkie de Jong, and attacker Memphis Depay. He is replacing French attacker Antoine Griezmann, who is returning to Atletico Madrid on a rental basis.
De Jong confirmed the transfer on Twitter, by retweeting FC Barcelona's announcement. "More than a club. More than an honor. Visca el Barca!" he tweeted.
More than a club. More than an honour. Visca el Barça! 🔵🔴 https://t.co/LHc0Fjr82a— Luuk de Jong (@LuukdeJong9) September 1, 2021
On Twitter, many football fans congratulated Luuk de Jong and wished him well at FC Barcelona. But there were also some who raised doubts about the transfer, and even questioned coach Koeman's sanity. "Ronald Koeman has gone completely mad!" one fan tweeted. "Exchanging a class player like Griezmann for a third-rate striker like Luuk de Jong is a total mess."
De Jong has been out of the picture at Sevilla this season. After five years at PSV, he transferred to the Spanish club in the summer of 2019. A year later he was the great hero of Sevilla. With two scores in the final against Internazionale (3-2) he had a large part in wining the Europa League.
Earlier this summer, De Jong belonged to the European Championship selection for Oranje. The new national coach Louis van Gaal did not select him for the next three World Cup qualifiers. A few days ago it looked as if De Jong would return to PSV. However, coach Roger Schmidt announced in Eindhoven on Saturday that there would be no deal this year.
PSV would have liked to have De Jong as a "pinch hitter", as a "crowbar" if the course of the match demands it. He may be given a similar role at FC Barcelona, in order to force something as a substitute in the final phase.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times.