Frenkie de Jong hasn't made his official debut with FC Barcelona but he's already causing a lot of trouble in the team's locker room, as his jersey number has left La Masia wonderkid Carles Aleña with "a bad taste".
De Jong was given the number 21 jersey, the same Aleña wore in the past, without him asking the midfielder, who claims the team's officials didn't even notify him or reached out to him whatsoever:
"Giving the No.21 to De Jong was something between him and me. I would have liked a message from the board because they promised him the number without notifying me. That left a bad taste, it didn't feel good. I've always behaved well with the club," Aleña told reporters, as quoted by Goal.
Aleña is supposed to take a huge step forward this season with Ivan Rakitic losing playing time under Ernesto Valverde's command, as he drew a lot of comparisons with former Barcelona legends like Xavi or Iniesta during his times at La Masia.
Now, the midfielder will have to settle for the number 19 jersey Kevin-Prince Boateng wore last season, and it will be up to him to outplay de Jong and prove the team's officials wrong.
Both players are supposed to be a huge part of the team's project going forward, so nobody wants them to start their relationship with the wrong foot.
De Jong completed a dream move from Ajax and is called to be Sergio Busquet's successor, and he's poised for a breakout season in Spain this year for a team that has vowed to come back to the top of Europe following another humiliating elimination in the UEFA Champions League.
As for Aleña, he's got the right to feel disrespected by this, but let's hope he just buries the hatchet and focuses on playing and not what number is on the back of his jersey.