New Barcelona signing Luuk de Jong has admitted that he is not expecting to play too many minutes after sealing his deadline day switch to Camp Nou.
After Barça finally managed to offload Antoine Griezmann to Atletico Madrid, head coach Ronald Koeman wasted little time in demanding a new forward and soon set his sights on fellow Dutchman De Jong, who netted four goals in 34 appearances for Sevilla last season.
The 31-year-old joined on a season-long loan which was met with real confusion from fans and rivals alike, with many fearing that De Jong’s best days were behind him. The striker himself confessed that he knows he wasn’t exactly a conventional signing by the club.
“It’s incredible being a Barça player and it’s amazing to be here” he told the club’s official website after passing his medical. “I look forward to doing a lot of big things for this team and I can’t wait to get started.
“There are lots of different forwards here, but I’m tall and I’m good with my head. I know I won’t play all the time, but I have a good relationship with Koeman from playing for Holland, and he’ll know when he needs a player like me who’s good in the air.”
De Jong, a former Newcastle player, joins a reserve unit which also features ex-Middlesbrough man Martin Braithwaite, with the duo offering cover for Memphis Depay and eventually Sergio Aguero, once the latter returns from injury.
His arrival was the last bit of business in what was a wild summer for Barcelona, who lost both Griezmann and Lionel Messi and could only replace the superstar duo with loan deals and free transfers.
De Jong followed Memphis, Aguero, Eric Garcia and young Yusuf Demir through the entrance door, but Barcelona were far more concerned by their outgoings as they desperately looked to cut costs and keep themselves afloat.
High-earners Messi and Griezmann both left and were eventually followed by midfielder Miralem Pjanic, who joined Turkish side Besiktas on a season-long loan.
Some extra cash was also raised through the sales of Emerson Royal, Junior Firpo, Jean-Clair Todibo and Carles Alena, and the hope is that even more could come in if Wolves take up their option to sign young winger Francisco Trincao permanently next summer.