The shocking contrast of Barcelona with and without their star midfielder

BARCELONA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 19: Frenkie de Jong of FC Barcelona looks on during the UEFA Champions League match between FC Barcelona and Royal Antwerp FC at Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys on September 19, 2023 in Barcelona, Spain.
Photo by Cristian Trujillo/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

FC Barcelona has several players at the club’s disposal who are considered game-changers. Understandably, a world-renowned side like Barcelona would likely hire players that are also of an elite level. Even still, certain superstars manage to showcase an importance even beyond that.

Several games have gone by recently in which the Blaugranes have been far from their best. Struggling against teams that they are typically expected to dominate, Barça were seemingly losing their touch. However, one very key component was missing in all these games.

Frenkie De Jong, a midfielder for the Dutch National team and one of the captains of FC Barcelona, was injured and in recovery in Barça’s last few games. While many would argue that one player does not completely alter every game, in De Jong’s it certainly feels like it.

As highlighted by SPORT, the Dutchman makes Barcelona play like Barcelona. With him in the team, La Blaugrana simply plays better. While fans of the club already see this visually, even the statistics agree with this fair claim.

In the 7 games that he has been available this season, Barcelona have dropped points in only one of them. Six of those games have resulted in victories for La Blaugrana. The only hit was taken against Getafe in a 0-0 draw at the beginning of the campaign.

However, Barcelona undoubtedly struggled without their key midfielder. Two wins and one loss in the Champions League are coupled with 4 wins, 2 draws, and a loss in La Liga as well. While to most teams these numbers may not be disastrous, they are still disappointing for Barcelona.

Numerically speaking, the Catalans have consequently lost 10 points in total this season without De Jong’s help. Even in recent seasons, it is without his help that Barcelona have succumbed to some of their worst defeats. Despite that, his return is a thought that has many excited.

In the upcoming game for Barcelona against Rayo Vallecano, the Dutchman is expected to be back in action. Set for the 25th of November, the clash at the Vallecas should see De Jong get some minutes again and begin his journey back to the starting eleven.

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