Xavi has unveiled that Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong is expected to regain fitness and be available for selection following the November international break. De Jong, who has been sidelined by an ankle issue since late September, was among the key players affected by injuries earlier in the season.
Despite initially targeting a comeback for El Clasico in late October, the Netherlands international wasn’t deemed fit for the fixture. However, Xavi has now affirmed that De Jong will be ready to participate in Barcelona’s upcoming match once the international break concludes. Speaking in his pre-match press conference ahead of the Sunday game against Alaves, Xavi stated, “Frenkie will be available against Rayo [Vallecano], and Pedri is at 100%.”
De Jong and Pedri were anticipated to be integral to Barcelona’s midfield this season, but their prolonged absences have resulted in increased playing time for players such as Ilkay Gundogan, Oriol Romeu, and Gavi. However, Gavi, the young Spanish international, is suspended for the upcoming match against Alaves on Sunday, leaving Xavi with fewer options as Barcelona aims to keep pace with current leaders Girona and second-place Real Madrid.
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Barcelona’s recent form has been subpar, with two losses in their last three games, including a lackluster performance against Real Sociedad, which they somehow won 1-0 thanks to Ronald Araujo’s late goal. The midweek defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk further diminished Barcelona’s immediate prospects of qualifying for the Champions League knockout stages, pushing them into second place behind Porto in Group H.
Before his injury, De Jong made six appearances in La Liga and one in the Champions League. The 26-year-old scored once and played a crucial role in Barcelona’s unbeaten run during the early stages of the campaign.