Xavi is ‘absolutely delighted’ with 21-year-old Barcelona defender despite slow start


It is no secret that Sergino Dest had some struggles early on in the tenure of manager Xavi Hernandez. The 21-year-old was unable to grasp the tactical demands of the manager, which prompted the coaching staff to put him under special training.

Nevertheless, with his fitness problems, coupled with the acquisition of Dani Alves, it looked like Dest’s time at Camp Nou could come to an end before the next season started. The USMNT star has been attracting a lot of interest from clubs in Italy.

But, there may be a chance that Dest stays put at Barcelona beyond the ongoing campaign.

Indeed, during the live telecast of Barcelona’s match against Sevilla on Sunday night, ESPN journalist Moi Llorens claimed that Xavi has been ‘absolutely delighted’ with Dest and the improvements he has shown of late.

The ESPN correspondent even went on to make a big claim that Xavi was ready to hand the former AFC Ajax right-back a start in El Clasico against Real Madrid prior to the international break.

However, the defender’s injury in the game before that put paid to those plans. Dani Alves started at right-back against Los Blancos, as the Catalan giants registered a thumping victory at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Dest has not had it easy since coming to Barça from Ajax in 2020. While he played regularly under Ronald Koeman during his debut season, the 21-year-old never really looked convincing enough.

Things got much worse for him once Xavi took over last year. But, credit goes to him for toughing it out, applying himself and making improvements to his game to an extent that the manager is now delighted with him.

But it remains to be seen if it leads to a prolonged stay at Camp Nou for Dest, especially considering that Barcelona are planning to sign Noussair Mazraoui from Ajax on a free transfer in the summer.