Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman says he will be patient with the United States international.

Sergino Dest needs to learn a lot

Sergino Dest was warned he “needs to learn” after suffering a nightmare Champions League night against Kylian Mbappe. But Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman says he will be patient with the United States international. Paris Saint-Germain ran a riot at the Camp Nou in the first leg of the heavyweights last-16 meeting. With their World Cup-winning frontman scoring a stunning hat-trick. The player found himself lining up against Mbappe in this competition. With the 20-year-old giving a harsh lesson to some of the best in the business as to how tough life at the top can be. Koeman told reporters about Dest’s struggles on the continental stage: “Maybe because he didn’t play regularly and because he had some injuries, that influenced his involvement with the team.”

Koeman: Dest needs time and advice

“But now he feels good, and he’s physically normal. He’s 20 years old, but he has to learn. And he has to be more aggressive, he has to be more focused. He’s had too many periods in the game where he’s not 100 per cent focused. We are talked to him about it. The Barça boss added: “He’s a young player, it’s good, he can learn, but he needs to learn. With all the positives he can bring to the team. Dest also needs to learn that it is a big step to play for Barcelona than to play in Holland. He needs time, he needs advice, but it starts with the player himself”. The LaLiga giants moved to buy into the promising defender’s potential during the summer of 2020. A $24 million deal was pushed through with Ajax, allowing Dest to open a new chapter in his career at Camp Nou.

He has played 24 appearances in all competitions this season, becoming the first American to score for the Blaugrana while travelling against Dynamo Kyiv in November. Dest made an appositive start to his time in Catalonia, with a lot of plaudits earned along the way, but the steep learning curve means he has to prove himself over and over again.