On October 1st, Barça signed Sergiño Dest from Ajax for 21 million as the main backup to Sergi Roberto. Injuries for his teammates have seen the American become a starter from the get-go. But how has he fared in general?
Dest had a tough start to the season. Competing with the reliable Sergi Roberto was never going to be an easy task. Therefore, it was the 29-year-old that got most of the minutes. Yet Ronald Koeman made it clear that he counted on Sergiño. And the American played some important games, including el Clasico. It was evident that he had the talent, yet he still needed to improve in many aspects of his game, like positioning and decision-making. Despite not playing too often, there was a lot of optimism around Dest.
It looked like Sergi Roberto would remain the number 1 option, with Sergiño Dest developing slow and steady. Nevertheless, football is a game where the circumstances change rapidly. Two consecutive injuries for Roberto meant Dest was the only option at right-back in the first team, and now needed to perform twice a week. He did very well, although it became clear that he was suffering from muscular and fatigue issues later on due to the immense workload.
Vital Part of the whole team’s improvement
Recently, Koeman has reverted to the 3 at the back which he used earlier on in the season, and Sergiño Dest has arguably been the biggest beneficiary. With extra defensive cover, the American can focus on his offensive duties and he has really shone under those circumstances. Having the whole right wing in his disposal, he has made great use of his intelligence, technique and dribbling. Crucially for his position, Dest has an eye for the unusual, which really helps him cope on his own down the right-hand side. During the past month, Sergiño has been nothing short of brilliant.
Despite all the obstacles, Sergiño Dest has done magnificently to cope with the high expectations. He has proven to be responsible and has become much more reliable. At just 20 years of age, Dest shall be our main right-back option for years to come.