Frenkie de Jong is unsure of Barcelona’s title credentials despite their improving LaLiga form.
De Jong scored the opener and created a late second for substitute Riqui Puig during Sunday’s 2-0 win at Elche.
That made it four wins out of four for Barca in Spain’s top flight since the turn of the year, although they will be 10 points behind Atletico Madrid having played a game more if the leaders are able to beat Valencia in Sunday’s late kick-off.
“I’m not sure,” he told LaLiga TV when asked whether Ronald Koeman’s side are back in the title race.
“We have to win our games and we’ll see where we end up towards the end of the season.”
Nevertheless, the Netherlands midfielder has no doubt Barca are an improved side after a tough start to life under his former national team boss Koeman.
“Since the new year we’re a lot better and we’ve played most of the games away from home and won all of them in LaLiga. We’re in a better moment,” De Jong said.
“I think [beating Elche] will do us good, we’ve worked hard, especially now in the new year. We’re growing and improving as a team and hopefully we can keep improving.”
5 – @DeJongFrenkie21 has scored more goals for @FCBarcelona in one season & a half in #LaLiga (five goals) than in his five campaign for @AFCAjax in Eredivisie (four). Brewing#ElcheBarcelona #ElcheBarça pic.twitter.com/OG4H5WFCUH
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) January 24, 2021
De Jong’s tally of five goals across his season-and-a-half with Barca has already bettered his total of Eredivisie strikes for Ajax (four) across five campaigns, and the 23-year-old also feels that the imperative to improve applies to him personally, even after a man-of-the-match display.
“Yes, I do think I can play better but it’s not only about goals and assists,” he added. “Of course I’m happy but there’s more to come.”