The Netherlands midfielder has established himself as one of the best young players in his position in world football after helping Ajax reach the Champions League semi-finals last season, and Barca shelled out a whopping £65 million to prise him out of Amsterdam.
De Jong, 21, will be the new lynchpin for the Catalan giants from the start of the 2019/20 season onward but it turns out he once had his eye on a move to North London.
Speaking at his presentation at the Nou Camp, via Sport Bible, the Dutchman revealed: “I actually thought Arsenal was pretty beautiful in the past.
“In my mind I have had the following list for a long time: Ajax-Arsenal-Barcelona, call it the Marc Overmars route.
“But yes, if you can go directly to Barcelona, then you are also right where you want to be. Faster than you ever dared to dream.
“I am very happy to be here finally.
“As a child it was a dream for me to play at Barca, and now I’m here so it’s great.
“I’m really looking forward to setting foot on the Camp Nou pitch for the first time.
“I’m happy to be able to play with Messi, who I have always followed. Now my idol will be my team-mate.
“I like Barca’s way of playing. The philosophy of Barca and Ajax are very similar, and I think I will enjoy it.
“Barca and Holland have always had a great, special connection, and I hope to follow in that tradition. I want to be one of the great Dutch players who have played at Barcelona.”
So, there you have it – one of the best players in the world could’ve been plying his trade at the Emirates, had things gone slightly differently.
How do you think De Jong will fare in Catalonia? Will he become the new Xavi or Iniesta?
Let us know in the comments section below…