Sergino Dest has been linked heavily with both Bayern Munich and Barcelona. According to Fabrizio Romano, both clubs have contacted his agent. The 19-year-old USA international broke through at Ajax last season, where he has been since the age of 12. He racked up 36 appearances and impressed many with his performances – so much so that two of Europe’s heavyweights are ready to slug it out to get his signature. The question is, what makes him so good and how would he fit in at both of these clubs?
Barcelona and Bayern Munich Linked With Ajax’s Sergino Dest
Why They Want Him
The young American accumulated two goals and six assists last season. It’s an impressive tally from his first season holding a position in the first team. He is the epitome of what a modern-day full-back aims to be. His electric pace combined with his excellent dribbling ability makes him a threat on the right-hand side. His close control allows him to escape an opponent’s press easily. This is alongside his good decision making in the final third and the variety of crosses he puts into the box. With all of this, you have one of the best young full-backs in the world.
Defensively, he is very aggressive, which can also be his weakness. He dives into challenges, sometimes a bit too early, and he always seeks to press an opponent whenever they have the ball. This rashness will be exploited more when he plays against better opposition on a weekly basis. As is the case with many other young full-backs, his defensive positioning needs improvement. His recovery pace is so quick that he can recover from these mistakes. However, it is something which he will need to improve on in if he moves to a bigger club.
How Sergino Dest Would Fit at Bayern
Out of both clubs, it seems like Bayern are favourites to sign him, given Barcelona’s financial woes. Even though Barcelona and Bayern are two of the biggest clubs in the world, the treble winners have a much better sporting project than Barcelona. Bayern also offer stability, something which Barcelona could only dream of right now. He would face heavy competition for the right-back spot at Bayern. Benjamin Pavard and Joshua Kimmich mostly occupied the right-back spot for last season. But, with Thiago’s impending departure to Liverpool, Kimmich may be moved to centre midfield full time. Even though Pavard may be more defensively astute than Dest, the attacking possibilities the American provides on the right-hand side are endless.
With Leroy Sane coming in and seemingly going to start on the right-wing, a partnership of himself and Dest could be devastating. No one would be able to handle the pace that those two have. Having Dest will allow Sane to drift inwards, which will give the American more space to roam into. He would be able to get a number of assists due to his excellent crossing ability and good decision making. Also, he would be crossing it to the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Muller and even Leon Goretzka with his lung-bursting runs from midfield. His impact could be similar to Alphonso Davies’ last season as the Canadian completely transformed a stagnant Bayern left-wing. With two of North America’s best players, Bayern would have their full-back situation sorted for the next decade.
How Sergino Dest Would Fit at Barcelona
Even though sporting and financial wise Barcelona are a mess, the long-lasting relationship between themselves and Ajax could be key for the Blaugrana acquiring Dest. Here, he would face less competition than he would at Bayern. His main competitors would be Nelson Semedo and Sergi Roberto. Semedo has failed to impress so far, and Roberto is really a midfielder. Barcelona would be an easier transition for Dest due to them playing the same style as Ajax. Also at Ajax, Dest played with Hakim Ziyech and Dusan Tadic on the right-wing, both of whom are playmakers who drift in, which allows him to have the whole flank to himself. This is what Messi does at Barcelona when playing on the wing as well, so the situation could be really similar to the one he has at Ajax.
Dest could also strike up a partnership with the Argentinean. Ever since Dani Alves left, with whom Messi seemed to have a telepathic relationship with, no one has replaced the Brazilian’s dynamism or associative play. Dest could do this as, at Ajax, his passing and ability to combine with his midfielders and his winger are of a high level. Combine this with his pace, which Barcelona have sorely lacked for years, Barcelona’s right side could be transformed.
Dest will provide pace and penetration in behind packed defences. With his excellent dribbling ability he would be a constant attacking threat in the final third. If Dembele manages to stay fit or if Francisco Trincao is given a chance, Dest could develop a partnership with them as well. The only issue for Dest would be on the defensive side. He would have almost no defensive cover on his wing due to Barcelona seemingly selling all their workmanlike midfielders. Dest would have to time his runs forward more efficiently. The reason being is, if he is caught out of position, Barcelona would be hugely susceptible to the counter-attack. Even with this potential downside, the Blaugrana would do well acquiring the young American. Although, it seems that financial constraints may stop them from doing so.
All in all, wherever Sergino Dest goes, it is likely he will be a huge success. The fact that he is only 19-years-old, means he has plenty of time to improve on his defensive weaknesses and to get even better offensively. Whether it be at Barcelona or at Bayern Munich, whatever team obtains him will have one of Europe’s best fullbacks for the next decade.