Teenager Sergino Dest was presented as Barcelona's new signing on Friday, ending one of the most talked about transfer sagas ever involving an American.
"Barca have so much history
and I've always wanted to play here," said Dest, who joined Barcelona after one season with Ajax's first team. "I followed my heart and I have made the right choice."
Dest, who signed a
five-year contract, had been expected to sign with Bayern Munich before Barcelona's late move. He is the second American at Barcelona after Konrad de la Fuente, his teammate on the 2019
Under-20 World Cup.
The Dutch-born teenager says he has modeled himself after Brazilian Dani Alves, who spent eight seasons at Barcelona, and wants to be a two-way player at right
"I've watched a lot of videos of him on YouTube," he said.
"I've learned a lot from him. I still have to learn more about him, because here at Barca there are a lot of his former teammates, such as [Lionel] Messi."
Dest said it's amazing
to have the chance to play alongside Messi, whom he described as the best player in the world.
"I looked up to him," he added. "I will run as much as I have to. I will run for everybody
in the team."
To sign Dest, Barcelona sold Portuguese right back Nelson Semedo to Wolves. The only returning right back is Sergi Roberto.
"He is a very good
player with great qualities," he said. "I remember his goal against PSG. I can learn from him and, in fact, I can learn from everybody. I hope that everybody gives me advice to reach my highest
Barcelona's next game is Sunday against Sevilla, the 2020 Europa League winner.
"If I could make my debut against Sevilla on Sunday," he said, "it would be great.
I want to start playing as soon as possible."