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Carles Alena has ripped into the Barcelona board for promising Frenkie de Jong the No.21 shirt without discussing it with him.
The Spanish youngster has moved to the No.19 to allow Barca's big-money midfield arrival to take his desired number and while he has no problem with his new teammate, he does take issue with the fact that there was no conversation with club officials about the change.
"I knew that Frenkie wanted the 21 and it was something between him and me," Alena said, as per SPORT.
" I would have liked a message from the board because they promised him the shirt without warning me. He was humble, he asked me for it and I gave it to him because it was for a sentimental reason,"
"They promised him it without telling me anything. Frenkie is a good guy and humble. I don't feel good because I've always behaved well with the club, we have good communication. They just needed to drop me a message."
AS say that De Jong was offered the coveted No.14 jersey famously worn by the one and only Johan Cruyff at both Ajax and the Blaugrana.
But the Dutch international turned it down as he wishes to carve his own legacy and wants to wear #21 - a number he has worn on the pitch for club an country since his grandad passed away on his 21st birthday.
"I feel comfortable with that number," De Jong told Voetbal International.
"I could easily play with another number, you know, it's not a problem, but it is nice that it also gives people a way of recognising me.
"I brought my whole family to my presentation in Barcelona, except my grandfather Hans de Jong, my father's father. He died on the day of my 21st birthday. Unconsciously it is also a kind of tribute. He was a huge football fan."
Frenkie de Jong will play with number 21 on his shirt.- AFC Ajax :gem: (@TheEuropeanLad) July 6, 2019
- "I took my whole family to the presentation in Barcelona, except my grandfather. He passed away on my 21st birthday. In some way it's a tribute to him. I find it sad that he couldn't be there." [vi] pic.twitter.com/ObVnqriPdg
With #21 on his back, De Jong made his debut for the Blaugrana on Tuesday against Chelsea in Japan and gave a glimpse of what a superb addition he promises to be at Barca.
Frenkie de Jong highlights vs. Chelsea, 23/07/2019.- Frenkie Chief :flag_nl: (@FrenkieStats) July 23, 2019
Frenkie makes his debut for FC Barcelona, and he looked like he was the only player who knew what he was doing in the second half. A brilliant midfielder, hopefully he starts for all of our games this season. pic.twitter.com/khkEerJdc0
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