Lionel Messi Lends Helping Hand To Barcelona Youngster Frenkie De Jong

Barcelona ace Frankie de Jong has revealed how Lionel Messi is assisting him to adjust to his new midfield role for the Catalans.

The 23-year-old has instantly become a key player at the Nou Camp, racking up 37 appearances so far in his debut season.

Yet De Jong has to acclimatize to a new role in the middle of the park, having often operated as a solo pivot in front of the back four during his Ajax days.

The Dutch youngster has taken on a more advanced midfield position for the Spanish giants, while sometimes playing in a double pivot next to Sergio Busquets.

Fortunately, one of the greatest players in the history of the game has been on hand to help him find his feet.

“At Ajax and [in] the Dutch squad, I’ve had a different role, but we’re playing with a double six [two defensive midfielders],” De Jong told BBC Radio 5 Live.

“I have to adapt and it’s going OK, but I can improve.

“I’m at my best when I’m not the most defensive but also not the most attacking [midfielder].

“If Lionel Messi is talking and giving you advice, you take it as he is by far the best player in the world. If he gives advice, you listen.

“Sometimes he says you have to be deeper or to the side, small things but it makes the difference.”