New Barcelona signing Frenkie de Jong admits he always envisaged he would play for Arsenal before making a dream move to Camp Nou.
The 22-year-old midfielder rose to prominence last season during Ajax’s unlikely run to the Champions League semi finals, dominating the midfield during landmark victories against Real Madrid and Juventus.
A host of Europe’s heavyweight clubs were interested in signing the Netherlands international, but Barca stole a march on their rivals by completing a €75million deal back in January for a player viewed as the heir apparent to Andres Iniesta.
Ajax sporting director Marc Overmars played for Ajax before becoming an integral part of Arsene Wenger’s first double winning side at Arsenal and subsequently joining Barcelona, a career trajectory De Jong admits he thought he would follow.
‘In my mind I have had the following list for a long time: Ajax-Arsenal-Barcelona, call it the Marc Overmars route,’ De Jong told Voetbal International. ‘But then again, if you can go directly to Barcelona, then you are right where you want to be. Faster than you ever dared to dream.’
Arsenal remain in the market for midfield reinforcements this summer following the departure of Aaron Ramsey to Juventus and have been linked with Southampton’s Mario Lemina who is also being monitored by Manchester United.
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