It has been summer of transition in many areas at Camp Nou.
From the hierarchy to the management, all the way through the playing staff, there have been many comings and many goings at Camp Nou – but two notable movements include the arrival of Ronald Koeman as manager and the departures of Luis Suarez and Nelson Semedo.
With Semedo recently securing a move to the Premier League with Wolves, Koeman will now be casting his eye over clubs around the world for a replacement at right-back. However, his solution appears to be much closer to home.
Whilst the 19-year-old plays for the American national team, Dest plays his club football at Ajax and is one of Europe’s most promising up and coming prospects – Koeman definitely would have seen a lot of him during his time in Holland.
But is he a suitable replacement for Nelson Semedo? Let’s take a look.
Dest’s attacking ability is undoubtedly the biggest strength in his game.
In 20 Eredivisie games last season, the right-back registered five assists, three more than Semedo made in 24 La Liga appearances.
The American right-back averaged 1.1 shots per game during domestic performances last season, which perfectly highlights his willingness to get into attacking positions. Dest also averaged 0.9 key passes per game, meaning he would create a big opening for his attacking teammates – something that the Barça attackers would love to feed off.
While Dest has the attacking nous to get up the pitch and occupy the right spaces, his downfall would be some sloppiness in those positions.
This is something which could improve over time with confidence and experience, but in the previous campaign Dest was dispossessed on average 1.2 times per game in the Eredivisie, 1.4 times per game in the Champions League and twice per game in the Europa League. That compares pretty poorly to Semedo, who was dispossessed on average 0.8 times per game in La Liga last season.
There’s no doubting Dest has bags of potential to fulfil, but can he do it or will mistakes get the better of him?
Most of his areas to improve, such as ball control, will become less of an issue with the confidence to play. There is no better place in the world for the young right-back to be than at Barça. The whole philosophy of the club, even taught to youngsters in La Masia academy, is that every player on the pitch is comfortable with the ball at their feet.