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De Jong helps Xavi solve Sergio Busquets conundrum with a brilliant performance against Villarreal

Frenkie de Jong produced an excellent performance in Barcelona’s 3-0 win over Villarreal in La Liga last night.

The Catalans’ momentum took a hit following underwhelming results against Inter Milan and Real Madrid.

However, they returned to winning ways with a comprehensive victory over Unai Emery’s men at Camp Nou. Robert Lewandowski (2) and Ansu Fati got the goals.

In a game full of positives for the Blaugrana, De Jong’s impressive performance stood out.

The Dutch international started in place of Sergio Busquets, who Xavi decided to rest after his performances dipped in recent weeks.

There has been a clamour from the fans to see De Jong regularly in action after he made a significant impact off the bench in the 3-3 draw against Inter last week.

De Jong has been out of favour this season, with Pedri, Gavi and Busquets preferred in the first team.

The former Ajax star started only in five games out of 11 before last night.

De Jong made full use of his opportunity against Villarreal to produce a near-perfect display.

The 25-year-old has often been criticised for not having the potential to play as a holding midfielder, but he proved it wrong last night.

Clocking up a pass success percentage of 95, De Jong hardly put a foot wrong.

Whether it was controlling the tempo, evading pressure or progressing play, De Jong did everything with ease.

His defensive traits were the most impressive, as he had a 100% success rate in duels and completed five tackles and nine recoveries.

The Dutchman will be hoping to become a regular under Xavi.

The performance was also a reminder for Barca to look no further than De Jong in their search for the successor to Busquets.

The Netherlands international had a turbulent summer window after Barca tried to sell him against his will.

He would have been disappointed with the lack of game time this season, but he has the desire to make a name for himself at Barca.

The midfielder has shown his talent whenever offered the chance, and he can even reach greater heights if Barca back him.

Xavi’s men are due to face Athletic Bilbao and Bayern Munich in their next two games, and De Jong will be eager to carry on his form.

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