By Michael Hincks
Frenkie de Jong scouting report: How highly-rated Netherlands midfielder fared against Germany
Last Updated: 20/11/18 10:59am
Frenkie de Jong is reportedly attracting interest from Europe's biggest clubs, but how did the Ajax midfielder fare for the Netherlands against Germany?
Ajax technical director Marc Overmars said not even an "insane amount" of money would have seen De Jong - likened to Franz Beckenbeur, Xavi, and Frank Rijkaard - leave in the summer.
However, the interest continues, with Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona and Real Madrid among the clubs linked with the 21-year-old this season.
With De Jong firmly in the spotlight, here's how he measured up against Germany, in a match which saw the Netherlands came from two goals down to draw 2-2 and reach the Nations League finals…
De Jong watch
- 1' - Werner turns De Jong before setting up first Germany attack
- 2' - Dispossesses Kroos but Netherlands counter breaks down
- 9' - Werner loses De Jong and scores pearler
- 25' - Shows distress at lack of pressing further up field
- 45+2' - Cuts out Gnabry's pass which would have played Werner in
- 46' - Tackled by Kroos, Germany counter but Werner's effort is saved
- 49' - Misplaced pass after a short ball from De Ligt
- 72' - Last-ditch block to deny Sane certain goal
De Jong started alongside Marten de Roon in defensive midfield, with Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum further up, supporting Netherlands' attacking trio of Quincy Promes, Memphis Depay and Ryan Babel.
The Netherlands needed a point to reach next summer's Nations League finals, but soon found themselves a goal down against Germany, who had already been relegated from Group A1.
Timo Werner put Germany in front, and De Jong was the closest player to the striker, who reacted quickest to a flick-on and fired in a terrific effort from 20 yards out.
Leroy Sane soon put Germany 2-0 up after a ball over the top, with the goal deflating a Dutch side who needed to score twice without reply to qualify.
De Jong prevented Sergio Gnabry's through ball from finding Werner before the break, but after half-time a couple of loose passes resulted in Germany going on the counter-attack, to no avail.
The Netherlands had been off the boil offensively, but as a result De Jong's defensive attributes were further highlighted, and he made a pivotal last-ditch block to deny Sane a simple tap-in after 72 minutes.
That interception proved crucial as the Dutch staged an unlikely comeback. Promes' fine effort left them needing one more goal, and De Jong watched the ball fly over him as team-mate Virgil van Dijk swept in the equalising goal that sent them into the June's finals.
Overall, De Jong put his defensive qualities on display. The vital block highlighted his desire to help a back four which he rarely strayed far from, while a pass completion rate of 94.4 per cent (67 out of 71) was bettered only by Matthijs de Ligt (95.3 per cent) from those who started.
Other matches will no doubt showcase De Jong's attacking talents - he has scored twice in Ajax's last three league games - but his duty on Monday was to offer defensive support and nullify Germany's threat going forward.
Ultimately, the approach paid off, and De Jong can look forward to the Nations League finals in June. Whether he still an Ajax player by then remains to be seen.