Barcelona defender Sergino Dest has so far undergone his Barcelona career in reverse to how he might have wanted it to turn out.
After joining the club from Ajax for €20m in 2021, Dest won a place as the starting right-back under Ronald Koeman. However once Xavi Hernandez was installed, it quickly became apparent that Dest was no longer not even first-choice, but not a player that Xavi wanted to count on going forward.
This summer he left on loan for Milan, with hope of winning a starting spot that at the Italian champions. Yet Stefano Pioli has not taken to him either, and he remains a bit-part player for the Rossoneri. Although they have a €20m buy clause, there seems little chance of Paolo Maldini pulling the trigger on that.
Thus it seems likely he will be back in Barcelona in the summer, where the Blaugrana will look to move him on again. Their hope is that they can recover a decent part of the money they spent on him down the line.
Despite two poor seasons, Sport say there is interest in him from Spain, although likely on loan.
Atletico Madrid are the most attractive interested party from Dest’s perspective in terms of the team itself. Los Colchoneros will likely be in the Champions League next season, and look to be heading in the right direction. No side other than Barcelona have picked up more points in 2023.
Matt Doherty is currently backing up Nahuel Molina, and has barely featured, but they should have more opportunity for rotation next season. On the face of it, he does not seem a natural fit with Diego Simeone, but he would suit the wing-back role. He would also likely be backing up Molina.
Villarreal are currently battling for European football too, and the Yellow Submarine are likely to have a summer of change unless Quique Setien secures Champions League football next season. Yet they would be a solid option for Dest to develop, with less pressure, albeit likely as a back-up to Juan Foyth as well.
Sevilla are fighting to stay in the division. Their future is focused on the present day and no more, so it is difficult to tell whether he would work as part of their side, with plenty of flux likely on the horizon too. With Jesus Navas and Gonzalo Montiel already there, currently it is hard to see where his game time would come from, unless one moves on.
Finally, Valencia are also said to be interested. The competition at right-back is likely to be fierce there too, with Dimitri Foulquier backing up Thierry Correa, although both can be used in midfield. Los Che are perhaps the best bet in terms of minutes all the same, but probably the least stable of the four. Their status in La Liga is not assured either.
Overall, none of the options are likely to give Dest first-team minutes as things stand. Thus it is hard to say any of the options are ideal, and with three of those options likely to be in major flux this summer. Of the four, Dest may have the most luck developing at Villarreal.
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