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Dest shining in wingback role for surging Barcelona

Ronald Koeman’s decision to switch to a 3-4-3 formation has been one of the keys to Barcelona’s strong surge in 2021, and it has also allowed Sergino Dest to enjoy new levels of success in a new role.

The U.S. Men’s National Team fullback became Barcelona’s starting right back last fall, and while he had some modest success, Dest has shown to have more of an impact playing in the wingback role Koeman has him and Jordi Alba playing now.

Dest’s two-goal masterpiece in Sunday’s 6-1 romp over Real Sociedad put the young American’s talents on full display, as he jumped into the attack to score a pair of goals that sparked a blowout against a good Real Sociedad side.

“I think this system fits me pretty well, so I have more space to do my own thing and I think I’m in a good flow,” Dest told Barca TV. “The feeling is amazing and also because we won 6-1 against a tough opponent. So I think we’re doing good right now and we have to keep this way, this style of play.”

Dest, who signed with Barcelona from Ajax during last summer’s transfer window, seems to be finally regaining his confidence following a period out of the team due to a thigh injury.

After their elimination from the Champions League by Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona’s sole focus is on the La Liga crown. In its current form, they will certainly want to keep the pressure on Atletico Madrid as the team has dropped points in two of their last five games, allowing the Catalans to clip at their heels with 10 games now left in the season.

“The team is in good shape, we’re winning everything, and, of course, it’s not easy but we’re winning with a lot of goals, so we’re on the right way and we have to continue like this,” Dest said. “If we continue like this, we still have a big chance to win the league. So we have to continue and put all the effort in.”

Dest will head into the international break brimming with confidence as the U.S. Men’s National Team prepares for its friendlies against Northern Ireland and Jamaica.

Afterwards, he’ll be looking to help Barcelona keep its winning streak going against Real Valladolid on April 5.

Comments

  1. The wingback position must have come along with the 3 man back lines, huh? I noticed Adams has been playing wingback for about a month for Leipzig. When Fulham plays a 3-4-3, Antonee Robinson excels at left wingback. Little talked about Shaq, has played some wingback for Tenerife in the last couple seasons. And now, Dest! Thank goodness! Watching Dest only job be, “Get Ball, give it to Messi!” was hampering his game and personally, hard to watch. He loves going forward, set ‘em up for success Koeman!

    Reply
    • I totally agree on the depth. Adams has gone back and forth but seems to be playing mostly as a 6 now, though. In the modern game with lots of movement and interchangeable parts on the pitch, I’m happy to see our players displaying the tactical and technical acumen to be so pliable to other roles. It’s a privilege we haven’t had in the past, really.

      Reply
      • I like that we’re starting to experience some of the “problems” top sides experience. Do we select players for versatility or do we pick the best players for specific positions? Do we select players that fit a predetermined system or do we select whichever system allows us to get our best players onto the pitch? Do we leave out star players that aren’t in form when there are alternative options performing well in slightly less prestigious teams/leagues? Countries like England and Germany have Champions League starters fighting for and missing out on spots. We’re not there yet, but these are the sorts of issues managers love to have and it shows we’re progressing as a footballing nation.

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