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'I want to be a starter' - De Jong sends message to Xavi over limited game time ahead of El Clasico

11:44 PM SGT 15/10/22
Frenkie de Jong Barcelona 2022-23
Frenkie de Jong made a public plea to Xavi for more game time at Barcelona ahead of Sunday's clash with Real Madrid.
  • De Jong has made just three La Liga starts
  • Dutch midfielder could have left in the summer
  • He now wants more game time

WHAT HAPPENED? The midfielder had to settle for a cameo off the bench during Barcelona's thrilling 3-3 Champions League draw against Inter Milan. In 10 outings across all competitions this term, De Jong has started just four games (three in La Liga) and clearly isn't happy about it.

WHAT THEY SAID: Speaking ahead of this weekend's clash with Real Madrid, he said: "We don’t talk much with Xavi, but we only talk about football. I knew I would play fewer minutes at the beginning of the season.

"I want to be a starter again. Against Bayern, I wasn’t a starter and I hope to be against Real Madrid. Maybe he already decided, but usually we don’t know until the day of the game."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Barcelona seemed desperate to sell De Jong in the summer to raise transfer funds but he opted to stay put amid strong interest from the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea. Now, though, it seems as though he has fallen out of favour at the Spanish club.

IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR DE JONG? It will be interesting to see if the Dutchman starts against Real Madrid, but if his situation doesn't change soon he may well reconsider his future at Camp Nou.