Ajax scout: De Jong is more like Iniesta than Busquets

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - AUGUST 14: Frenkie de Jong of Ajax in action during the UEFA Champions League third round qualifying match between Ajax and Royal Standard de Liege at Johan Cruyff Arena on August 14, 2018 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Ajax scout Tonny Bruins Slot believes Frenkie de Jong’s “exceptional quality” is more like that of Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta to Sergio Busquets.

The Dutch star has agreed to join Barcelona for next season on a five-year contract in a €75m transfer fee along with bonuses of €11m.

The Catalan giants fended off competition from Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City to win the race for De Jong’s signature.

At just 21 years old, De Jong is one of Europe’s most exciting young talents and will be expected to start out as an understudy to Busquets before succeeding the Spaniard in his midfield role at Camp Nou.

But Bruins Slot reckons that De Jong is a player more in the mould of Iniesta than Busquets or even another Barcelona legend in Xavi Hernandez.

“He has such a fine technique, he’s a footballer of the very top level,” Bruins Slot told Esports Cope.

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“De Jong can play in Busquets’ position, but he doesn’t have the defensive level of Sergio. He has exceptional quality, though. He could play Xavi’s role, too, but he’s more Iniesta.

“His profile is to drift to the left and his vision can be taken advantage of in the final third. He has a touch like [Michael] Laudrup.”

He added: “He needs to improve physically, though. He’s young, only 21, and he has to grow to compete in Spanish football.

“But he can add something extra playing in a team with players like Lionel Messi, the greatest. He doesn’t lose the ball, he has great vision and, I repeat, a great touch.

“He is a serious kid, a really good person and a cool customer. He’s not influenced by his surrounding or the fans – he has a competitive mentality.”

De Jong played the full 90 minutes of Ajax’s 3-1 win over SC Heerenveen in the KNVB Cup to seal their spot in the semi-finals of the competition.