Barcelona hit by Frenkie de Jong blow, midfielder out for season

Barcelona hit by Frenkie de Jong blow, midfielder out for season

Frenkie de Jong's season with Barcelona has been abruptly halted after a serious ankle injury incurred during the recent 3-2 La Liga loss against Real Madrid.

The midfielder, a key figure for Barca, was forced off the field just before half-time and subsequent scans have revealed the extent of the damage.

Barcelona confirmed the diagnosis of an ankle sprain, but refrained from specifying a timeline for De Jong's return. 

However, various sources, including ESPN and SPORT, indicate that the Dutchman will be sidelined for at least five weeks. With only six games remaining in La Liga, this effectively ends his campaign.

Xavi, the Barcelona manager, faces a challenge in De Jong's absence, compounded by the absence of Gavi. However, the return of Pedri provides some relief, and the versatility of players like Andreas Christensen offers tactical options.

Pedri, who replaced De Jong during the Madrid match, and Fermin Lopez, who contributed with a goal after coming on at half-time, will be vital in navigating Barcelona through the remaining fixtures. 

The team faces tough encounters against Valencia, Girona, Real Sociedad, Almeria, Rayo Vallecano, and Sevilla.

De Jong's injury also raises concerns about his availability for the upcoming Euros, with the Dutch national team eyeing a strong campaign. With the tournament scheduled to begin on June 16, De Jong faces a race against time to regain fitness. 

The Netherlands will kick off their campaign against Poland on June 16, followed by matches against France and Austria.

The setback comes at a crucial juncture for both Barcelona and De Jong personally, with speculation surrounding his future at the club intensifying amidst links to Bayern Munich and Manchester United. As he focuses on recovery, the footballing world awaits updates on his progress and potential participation in Euro 2024.