Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman has been talking about the club’s new signing Luuk de Jong and how the Dutch striker can be more dangerous than Neymar in certain situations.
De Jong was officially presented as a Barcelona player on Thursday at the Camp Nou after joining on loan from Sevilla. Koeman spoke to NOS about his new arrival and explained how the veteran offers more of a threat aerially than Neymar, as reported by De Telegraaf.
“With a cross, Luuk is more dangerous than Neymar, Luuk is a different type of attacker than we have and I think every team should have that type,” he said. “I already indicated that to the club last year. I just want to be able to change with my forward players. If the match calls for a type like Luuk, he will play or fill in.”
De Jong moved to Barcelona on deadline day after the club agreed to allow Antoine Griezmann to return to Atletico Madrid. However, Koeman also made it clear that De Jong has been in his thoughts for a while.
“On the last day of the transfer window, we lost Antoine Griezmann, while we only had three attackers,” he said. “My first contact with Luuk was on August 8th and before that I often thought; why doesn’t Barcelona have that type of attacker?”
The striker will now spend the rest of the season at the Camp Nou. His contract does contain a clause to make the deal permanent.
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De Jong: Barcelona Move ‘Most Important Step’
De Jong spoke of his delight at sealing a move to the Camp Nou at a press conference on Thursday. The former Sevilla man said he had received a warm welcome from the club, as reported by Diario Sport.
“It’s an honour to be here. I hope that we make history together,” he said. “Training has been very good, I got a big welcome, it’s like a big family. I have a great relationship with Koeman from Holland so it’s great to be in the team.”
De Jong has worked previously with Koeman for the Netherlands national team as well as new teammates Frenkie de Jong and Memphis Depay. The striker also played with Memphis at PSV and spent a season with Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen at Borussia Monchengladbach.
The Dutchman talked up his connection with Memphis and says the two have a good understanding already. He explained, “I’ve got a great relationship with him. I know him from Holland [and PSV]. We understand each other without words, using the language of football. I know Frenkie well too.”
Memphis has started life at Barcelona in fine style with two goals and an assist in his opening three games. The forward has also been in the goals over the international break, scoring a hat-trick last time out in the Netherlands’ 6-1 win over Turkey.
Laporta Welcomes De Jong
Barcelona president Joan Laporta also welcomed the club’s latest signing to the Camp Nou at his unveiling. The 59-year-old is expecting plenty of goals from the striker, as reported by Diario Sport.
“We have checked that he’s a player who can bring us a lot footballingly speaking. We like his way of being. We live on goals and he can give us them,” he said. “We got his signing at last moment. You know that at the last moment big things were decided for the club and, among them, the arrival of De Jong.”
De Jong could now made his Barcelona debut on Tuesday in the Champions League. Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich are up first for the Catalans in the group stage at the Camp Nou.