Sergiño Dest, Messi’s Barcelona bet that wants to turn him into the new Dani Alves

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The Catalan club reached an agreement with Ajax for the young right-back in exchange for some 26 million euros. You already have a stratospheric termination clause. How it plays.

The right-wing sector of Barcelona’s defense has never found an owner since the departure of Dani Alves. The Brazilian not only left a great memory, but also knew how to become one of Lionel Messi’s great partners. The position now belongs to Sergi Roberto, a man from La Masía with the job of a midfielder who had to be improvised as a marker. In part, for example, due to the slow pace of Nelson Semedo, who recently emigrated to Wolverhampton. Thus, with the Portuguese already far away, the Catalan club decided to make a big bet with the landing of the Dutch Sergiño Dest, a promise that has just arrived from Ajax and many already imagine him as the new Alves.

The arrival of this 19-year-old was the product of an explicit request from Ronald Koeman, the new Barcelona coach, who in 2019 called him to play for the Netherlands team. However, Dest decided to play for the United States. He accused sentimental reasons. And it broke the heart of the DT, who apparently can now give himself the pleasure of training him. Yes, their paths cross again.

Dest was born in the Dutch city of Almere. At the age of 12, he joined the lower ranks of Ajax, one of the great schools of world football. And he showed his adaptability to move anywhere on the playing field. He started out as an attacker, then became an organizing midfielder and later became a defender. In that position, which in recent times has become transcendental – it’s worth looking at Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool – this young man showed his projection, both on the right and on the left, without great problems to change the profile.

With the passage of time, he established himself as a right back. Firm on the mark, but always with an attacking vocation and showing precision when making passes. Yes, similar to Dani Alves. Any coincidence …

The right-back, as part of the reserve team, was a privileged witness to the remembered 2018/19 season of Ajax, with Eric Ten Hag as coach, with an Olympic return in the Eredivisie and semifinals in the Champions League. His teammate Noussair Mazraoui, was the owner of the right back and Dest almost had no minutes.

The opportunity came after Mazraoui’s injury and Matthijs de Ligt’s departure for Juventus. Then Dest got the red carpet and debuted in the first team in July 2019, in the Dutch Super Cup that his team beat PSV Eindhoven 2-0. Since then he has never released ownership.

Under Ten Hag, the new Barcelona player played 35 games – 27 of them from the start – with two goals and six assists. Numbers closer to those of a midfielder than a defender.

How does Sergiño play? With a long travel, capable of covering the entire band, it is fast, precise and a good centering device. Without neglecting defense, he has an explosive speed to go on the attack that combines with an unusual ability. It is no coincidence that his football references are Ronaldinho … And Dani Alves himself.

“Dest’s boots treasure the actions of a winger. Skillful in dribbling, the former Ajax bursts a lot in attack without being afraid to run back. His ease on the field and his energy make him a difficult defender to beat in the field. one against one “, highlights the Barça of its new player, who will wear jersey number 2.

“I always pursue my dreams, and I have fought for this. To wear this shirt. Now the dream has come true,” said Dest in his first statements as culé. Barcelona paid 21 million euros for him plus another 5 in variables. And he does not want anyone to take it away from him: his release clause amounts to 400 million euros. Identical to that of Ansu Fati, the other jewel of the Catalans.

Lionel Messi’s new teammate, who says he prefers him over Cristiano Ronaldo, will be presented on Friday with a subsequent press conference of the player for the entire Blaugrana community.


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