Louis Van Gaal’s side secured a 2-1 success over Wales in Cardiff with De Jong heavily involved in the winning goal. Teun Koopmeiners gave the Dutch the lead in the 50th minute with a low strike, and it looked as though they were going to see out the win before Rhys Norrington-Davies headed home a dramatic late equaliser.
However, there was another twist to the tale and De Jong demonstrated precisely why Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag fancies a reunion at Old Trafford this summer with his role in the Oranje winner. Picking the ball up deep in midfield, he dribbled the ball into the Wales half, past three players and towards the penalty area, keeping his composure to find Steven Bergwijn on the left, whose cross was met by Wout Weghorst and thumped past Adam Davies.
The result sees Netherlands move on to six points in Group D following their surprise 4-1 victory over Belgium last weekend. They sit top with Roberto Martinez’s men second after they thrashed Poland 6-1, while Wales are bottom after losing their opening two Nations League matches.
Although De Jong only played 23 minutes of Netherlands’ win at the Cardiff City Stadium, he demonstrated the impact he can have in such a short space of time. The 25-year-old completed 26 passes, looking typically composed and comfortable in possession.
New United boss Ten Hag has made a reunion with the midfielder his No.1 priority since arriving at Old Trafford, but Barcelona want to recoup all of the £64million they paid Ajax for him back in 2019. Although it was revealed that De Jong is ‘happy’ and ‘content’ at the Catalan club, Barca may have to sell due to financial constraints and United are continuing to probe whether De Jong can be persuaded to move to the Premier League.
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The Red Devils are searching for at least two new midfielders in the transfer window with Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard all leaving the club this summer. Ten Hag wants to add an attack-minded and a defensively-focused player and thinks De Jong can fill the former.
After the game, Van Gaal praised De Jong’s performance and also claimed he is worth over £100million. “We don’t need to discuss that…?”, he said when asked about the quality he can bring to the side.
“No, because we were leading 0-1 at that time. Frenkie de Jong does bring an extra quality, of course. That is why he is also worth €112million. It was a fantastic counterattack, introduced by De Jong.”