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New signing Sergiño Dest is settling in quickly to his new home at FC Barcelona since arriving from Dutch club Ajax Amsterdam in October and the USA international is happy to have the chance to help the team and is looking forward to what lies ahead in the future. The defender spoke to Associated Press about his first few months as a blaugrana, playing in empty stadiums and his decision to choose Barça ahead of other top European clubs.
Dest's ability to play on either flank at full back and injuries to the likes of Sergi Roberto mean that the 20 year old has already made 10 appearances this season for Ronald Koeman's team, scoring his first every goal as a Barça player in the 4-0 away win at Dynamo Kyiv in the Champions League.
"I am ready and happy to play, if I was nervous I should not have come to Barça. For me it is my time to to show what I got, try to do my best and help the team out," explains Dest to the US based news agency.
Having decided to leave Ajax, there were plenty of options on the table for the talented defender but in the end he decided to join Dutch coach Ronald Koeman at Barça.
“It was not easy, easy, but this is my dream club. So that is why I chose Barça. I saw some chances. They had some new players for the team. Koeman ... wanted me at Barça, so I thought they had a good plan with me. And right now I am playing, so I am happy. I had to take it because you never know when the chance (like this) happens again.”
Dest forms part of a new generation of young talent in Ronald Koeman's squad along with fellow new signings Trincão and Pedri and la Masia product Ansu Fati. “All the younger players fit in pretty well," says the first US player to sign for the Barça first team.
Recent results, especially in Europe, give rise for optimism according to the defender: “We have played well, we have had good possession. We play as a team, everybody is defending, everybody is attacking. I think we are on the right path now.”
Dest, like any player, is delighted to play with the best and in this case that means Leo Messi. The full back hopes he can continue to share a dressing room with the Argentine star beyond the current season.
“I hope I can play with him one more year. But we will see. Everyone wants to have him in this club, but it is his choice," adds Dest.
Off the field Dest is busy learning Spanish but having been born and raised in the Netherlands he can rely on fellow Dutch speakers coach Ronald Koeman and midfielder Frenkie de Jong. The young defender has struck up a friendship with fellow USA international and Barça B squad member Konrad de la Fuente but he admits that socialising is difficult in the current Covid-19 influenced climate.
The restrictions on fans in football stadiums due to the current coronavirus pandemic is something Dest is looking forward to coming to an end. “I have never played with fans in a full stadium in Barça yet. I’d like to see that," concludes the full back before adding that events off the field at FC Barcelona, such as the upcoming presidential elections, are "not really my business. I just to have to make sure I perform on the pitch."
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