Frenkie

Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong faces a spell in the sidelines after picking up a hamstring injury during their El Clasico defeat to Real Madrid on Sunday.

The LaLiga giants were beaten 2-1 by their fierce rivals, with de Jong playing 77 minutes of the game before being withdrawn by his boss Ronald Koeman, and the club have now confirmed he has sustained an issue on his right thigh.

The Catalan club did not provide a timeline for his comeback, instead saying his ‘recovery will dictate his return’, meaning it is likely Koeman will be without his central midfielder for a good chunk of time.

Barca physios will now have to determine how severe the hamstring strain is, but the Dutchman is expected to sit out for at least the next month.

He joins a growing list of injury worries for Koeman this season having only just been able to call upon new signing Sergio Aguero – who made his debut last week and scored a consolation against Madrid on the weekend.

The team are already without young midfielder Pedri, defender Ronald Araujo and forward Ousmane Dembele – who are also suffering from hamstring issues. Striker Martin Braithwaite has a knee injury and is set to be out until December, and De Jong’s latest blow will do nothing to ease Koeman’s task this season.

De Jong, who joined from Ajax for around £63million in 2019, has played 11 times this season, and had started eight out of a posible nine games in LaLiga.

The 24-year-old knows Koeman well having worked with his compatriot when he was Holland boss, and while the coach is facing huge pressure to cling on to his job this season, De Jong has given him his backing.

‘I can’t talk about Koeman, it’s not for me to say,’ he said after their demoralising loss to Benfica last month.

‘I don’t think changing the coach can solve anything.

‘We are trying everything, working hard in training, we are trying our best on the field but today was not our day, that is clear.’

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