Frenkie de Jong left the door ajar for potential move away in future

Van der Vaart criticizes de Jong’s performance after Barcelona’s draw with Napoli

Rafael van der Vaart didn’t hold back in his assessment of Frenkie de Jong’s performance following Barcelona’s 1-1 draw against Napoli in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16.

The former Real Madrid and Netherlands star, speaking on Ziggo Sport, took aim at his compatriot, suggesting that De Jong’s tendency to hold onto the ball too long and lack of quick passing hindered Barcelona’s effectiveness.

“Frenkie de Jong plays football like a postman. He takes too long to pass the ball forward, instead, he keeps on running and taking it to his teammate,” said Van der Vaart.

“Once you get away from your opponent, you have to keep the ball moving and pass the ball!”

De Jong, who had been in the spotlight due to his outspoken comments regarding media speculation about his future, delivered a solid performance against Napoli. However, Van der Vaart’s criticism highlighted areas of improvement for the Dutch midfielder.

Despite his contributions on the pitch, De Jong’s yellow card in the match puts him at risk of suspension for a potential quarter-final clash if he receives another booking in the second leg against Napoli.

While De Jong’s performance received mixed reviews, Barcelona’s overall domination of the game and Robert Lewandowski’s continued goalscoring form provided some positives for manager Xavi Hernandez to take away from the match.

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